A Short History of Bullfighting in Spain

by flydime

A centennial tradition, bullfighting came to represent the national sport (and pride) of the exuberant Spain. Bull-fighting is not an activity that today’s animal right activists would approve, which is why this show doesn’t enjoy as much popularity as in the old days. But even if its glory is fading, bullfighting shows, known as corridas, continue to represent one of the most widely known Spanish traditions. The big Spanish cities are provided with large bullfighting arenas so it’s quite easy to book a ticket for a show. But keep in mind that, with all the elegance and glamour of the bull fighters, this is a dangerous, and violent sport. Many regard it as a very primitive sport, much like the gladiator fights during the Roman Empire. Bullfighting has fascinated many travelers and inspired lots of legends during its long existence, which is why I decided to write this short history of bullfighting in Spain:

Bullfighting in Ancient Times

by george m groutas

The oldest archeological proofs related to bull fighting were found in Spain, which once again show how this sport is so deeply linked to Spanish culture. Bulls have been an object of worship since immemorial times, so historians have reached the conclusion that bullfighting was initially some kind of religious or sacred practice.
Fighting animals in an arena became a common sport during Roman times, and special facilities were built for this purpose in most Roman cities. Like all the Mediterranean countries, Spain was once conquered by the Romans, which was most likely the cause behind bullfighting becoming a spectator sport.

Bullfighting in Medieval Times

Bullfighting reached a high degree of popularity in the 18th century. Francesco Romero is generally regarded as the father of bullfighting. He was a very innovative torero who developed his own fighting style, adding elements of drama like the red cape, which has become a symbol of bull fighting. From Spain, bullfighting spread in Portugal and in most Spanish speaking countries, with bullrings being constructed everywhere from Southern France to Mexico.

Bullfighting Today

by einkez sortu

Bullfighting today remains a very controversial practice. The animal rights activists consider it a cruel and bloody sport and have organized many campaigns and protests demanding the banning of bullfights. This lead into some Spanish regions declaring a total ban of bullfights – however, this activity still enjoys a lot of popularity in Southern and central Spain. Those interested in the history of bullfighting in Spain should take a chance to visit la Maestranza, the oldest bullring in the country and a landmark of Seville.

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