Ronda - Bullring
Ronda's bullring, due to its history and architecture, to its character and beauty, is recognized as one of the oldest of Spain, and also as one the most monumental existing bullrings.
Not by chance, Ronda is considered as one of the modern bullfighting's art bornplaces. This art was born in the 18th century, in a city where the Cavalry was alive and very popular, due to the existance of one corporation, whose main activity was to avoid the disappearance of the equestrian art. The defense needs of the territory aimed king Philip II to found at 1573 the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda, for the maintainance at a good shape the use of horses. In order to achieve this royal need, this Organization reserved one city space in for equestrian exercices, and, among them, as traditional in Spain, were the games of hability against bulls.
At the 18th century the pedestrian bullfighters take the place of the horse knights at the bullfighting. At this age it appears in Ronda the Romero family, which, during three generations, brings the most singular bullfighters of that age. Among them, the most important was Pedro Romero (1754-1839), main and most representative figure of the Bullfighting Art. He retired after bringing to death to more than 5000 bulls without suffering any kind of injure. His character and personality achieved the respect and social acknowledgement of the bullfighter's trade, due to the addition of courage, hability and esthetical beauty that it brings.
The rise of bullfighting led the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda to build its famous bullring, made by Martín de Aldehuela, the same architect of the great New Bridge over the Tajo of Ronda.
The bullring's building took six years, being opened in 1785, with a bullfight featuring Pedro Romero and Pepe Illo. Built with sandstone, with a monumental sketch, its architecture is noble, with a double gallery of arches and the absence of uncovered sections. It shows more the spirit of a cloister than the one belonging to a place for bullfighting. Its aspect remembers the famous circular courtyard of the Palace of Charles V at the Alhambra of Granada. The bullfighting surface (arena) has got 66 metres of diameter, and is surrounded by one lane formed by two stone rings. The sectors for the spectators have got five rows of stands, at two stages, with 136 columns forming 68 arches of Tuscany columns, except the ones belonging to the Royal box. Covered with a two sided arab bricks roof, the elegance of the bullring's inside cannot be compared to any other place for this purposes in Spain.
In the 20th century, a second dinasty of Ronda's bullfighters, the Ordóñez, is another contribution to the history of the bullfighting art given by the city of Ronda. Cayetano Ordóñez and his son Antonio Ordóñez achieved, because their way of bullfighting, that famous people like Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway were interested in bullfighting.
It was just Antonio Ordóñez who, in 1954, founded the world known Goyesca bullfight, where the decoration and the clothing of bullfighters and spectators brings us to the age of the famous painter Goya.
In the interior of the bull ring it is possible to visit the visit includes a permanent display telling the story of Ronda and the Real Maestranza, the Bullfighting and Royal Harness collections and the Equestrian Gallery.