barcelona book

Bullfighting

The bullfighting (tauromaquia in spanish) is an activity which consists at the practice of fighting bulls (both on foot and on horse) and the first sign of this activity has been discovered during the Bronze Age – for example gladiators used bulls like an additional training.

The bullfighting consists, not only, of fighting bulls but also every preliminary preparation from the raising of the bull until the tailoring of the bullfighter cloth including the design and the publication of posters and advertisings.

It was not before the 12th century in Spain that appeared a version more modern and more elaborate of the bullfighting called "corrida de toros" (bullfight).

This new form is a show which consists to fight different fighting bulls inside a closed field called "bull place". The fighting bull (toro de lidia) is a bull which is raised and selected specially for this show and the Catholic Church, during some years, banished the bullfight.

The pope Pius V (1566-1572) sent letters to bullfighters (known also as matador) threatening them of excommunication and the denial of a christian funeral and it was not before the pope Clement VII (1592-1605) that was retired the excommunication but he stipulated that bullfights shouldn’t be celebrated during the bank holidays.

In spite of this prohibition, bullfights were performed during religious festivities in order to celebrate those events.

Except the bullfighter, other people also participate in the show but only to assist him in case of troubles for example when the bull hit him and the matador has to follow a strict traditional protocol regulated and ruled for an esthetic intention.

It exists 2 types of bullfights, on foot and on horse and normally, the show is divided in 3 parts called "tercios":

  • the first part, the bull has to fight against the picador on horse
  • the second part, against the banderilleros
  • and the third and last part, against the matador with his red cape and sword until that the bull dies

After that the bullfighter killed the animal and depending on the decision of the president, he cut its ears like trophies. Indeed, if the president, who is, generally, a town representative, shows 1 white scarf, the matador cut 1 ear and for 2 white scarves, 2 ears.

The bullfight is not only practiced in Spain but also in other countries like Portugal, Mexico... and normally it is the sunday.

There are a lot of polemics about this show or this art (depending of the point of view) because for most of people, this is simply a killing and an unnecessary slaughter entertainment.

At Barcelona, each time that the season starts, normally from april until end of september, animal defenders make protests in front of the Monumental building (gran via de les corts catalanes 749) near Sagrada Familia. The show can last between 1h30 and 2h30 and normally it starts at 17h. Children are allowed to see it only if they are accompanied with adults and in Catalonia, children must have 16 years old to get in.

The place has been inaugurated in 1914 with the name "sport place" but in 1916, it has been extended and renamed as "monumental" and it was the only bull place of the city celebrating bullfight because since 2011, the bullfighting is forbidden in Catalonia. Additionally, the taurine museum of Barcelona is located in this building.

Other places have already banned this show or they will do and in some villages like Mataelpino, they have replaced the "encierro" (running bull) by the "boloencierro" (running ball). It is celebrated normally the last saturday of august and it consists to run in front of a giant ball.

You must know that it exists a controversy because in april, 6th 2004, Barcelona was the first big city of Spain to declare itself as an anti-bullfighting city during an institutional declaration approved by the city hall and still now, there are a lot of discussions and reactions for or against "la corrida de toros".

Your comment (temporarily unavailable)