The bullring of Ronda
The bullring of Ronda Address: Calle Virgen de la Paz, 15, 29400 Ronda
No doubt that the Ronda bullring (Plaza de Toros) , together with the Puente Nuevo or New Bridge, is the most important building of the city and a visit is an absolute must-do. It is like a sanctuary of contemporarty bullfight and on top of that the construction is the oldest conserved arena.
Strinking feature is the ring’s entrance with its neoclassical aspect and some baroque details, added at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The main gate has semicircular arches, complemented by Tuscan columns carrying a tympanum with the coat of arms of the Real Maestranza and an elegant little balcony in wrought iron with bull figures.
The arena is a perfect circle with a double gallery lane of suspended arches, also supported by Tuscan columns. Remarkable are the columns of the Royal Lodge, featuring glyphes and richly decorated.
There are 5.000 seats in the arena, all covered, around a sandy plain with a cross-section of 66 metres and the only one in the world with a stone fence. The gate for the bulls, the lodge for the Board and the Royal Box are all at the same side of the building, wich also makes the arena unique.
The arena was inaugurated on the 11th of May 1784, but a part of the benches collapsed during the opening ceremony. After one year of restaurantion, during the annual Fair of May, the arena was reopened with a large-scale bullfight between Pedro Romero and his chief rival Pepe Hillo.
Also involved with the restauration was José Martín Aldehuela, who was constructing the New Bridge (Puente Nuevo) by then.
This Temple of Bullfight was built and owned by the «Real Cuerpo de la Maestranza de Cabellería de Ronda». Its origin goes back to the end of the XVth century, the era of the Catholic Kings. King Philip II changed the old brotherhoods into Real Maestranzas in 1571. Ronda was the first responding and legalized its Real Maestranza in 1572, which makes it the first and oldest of Spain.
The museum located in the arena (Museo Taurino de la Plaza de Toros) offers a permanent exhibition of the 2 biggest bullfighter’s dynasties of Ronda: the Romero Family and the Ordóñez Family. Apart from engravings, lithos and drawnings the collection includes other relics of Bullfightworld like the original Goya-suit of Antonio Ordóñez as well. Also predominant is the amazing history of the Real Maestranza (the Royal Cavalry).
Definitly peculiare as well is Antonio Ordóñez’ last wish before he died; that’s why you’ll find a gravestone for Ordóñez, with the ashes of the deceased bullfighter underneath, at the interior gateway, there where the bulls run into the field.
Nowadays there are not too much Corridas in Ronda, but every year first week of September the arena (Plaza de Tores) celebrates its Corrida Goyesca, brainchild of Antonio Ordóñez. A bullfight in Goya-style, the great spanish Master, during the Pedro Romero Fair. Bullfight lovers from al over the world come to Ronda to see this unique happening. The bullfighters as well as the audience usually dress up in traditional costumes, Goya-style 18th century. In the past important people like Orson Welles or Ernest Hemingway visited this festival.
The fight is awarded to Pedro Romero, famous bullfighter, likewise 18th century, who set up the regulations of moderne bullfight, history says. He was born in Ronda in 1755 and fought bulls from when he was 8 till when he was 70, and so might have killed about 6000 bulls… He eventually died when he was 90, and never ever got injured in a Corrida.
CLIENTE: REAL MAESTRANZA DE CABALLERÍA DE RONDA
Corrida Goyesca in The bullring of Ronda
The traditional Fair and Festival of Pedro Romero has been set up every year to host as many nationals and internationals visitors possible to enjoy a colorful and very special atmosphere in our city. . One of the most special days is Saturday, where Ronda receive thousands of visitors to attend the Corrida Goyesca.
The history of the Corrida Goyescas begins with the centenary of the birth of the famous bullfighter Pedro Romero and in 1954 and thank’s to the influence of Cayetano Ordóñez , el Niño de la Palma, the first Goyesca bullfight was organised in the Ronda bullring owned by the Royal Cavalry .
The second run of the Goyesca was not until the year 1957. It will be the first edition in which the son of Cayetano, Antonio Ordóñez participates. This Matador will become the true center of the Goyescas attracting numberous foreign stars to which we dedicated part of our guide Andalucia Personal.
Currently, the Corrida Goyescas take place the first weekend of September. On Friday, a bullfight for young bullfighters is celebrated and finally on Sunday morning the exhibition of couplings of Ronda and in the afternoon the Rejóneo bullfight on horses.
Francisco Rivera Ordóñez is the manager of the Real Maestranza Caballerìa of Ronda runs the bullring, having his father burried on site just underneath the door where every bull enters the arena being his last wish; «I want every bull to walk over my grave before starting the fight» A very important event in the bullring of Ronda was in September 2006, when the Real Maestranza manager Francisco Rivera Ordóñez Cayetano and his brother, fought together, causing a massive attendence in the town.That day, Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez took the alternative of the hands of his brother Francisco, and both ended the corrida with an emotional hug.
Son of Paquirri and Carmina Ordóñez, Francisco Rivera Ordóñez was born and raised in between bulls and horses. His family is his best curriculum: Antonio Ordóñez grandson, nephew of José Rivera Riverita, grandson of Domingo Dominguez and Cayetano Ordóñez,the Child of the Palma.
He belongs to one of the major matador families of our country and was married with the daughter of the Duchess of Alba, another important family in Spain´s historyn according to Guinness World Records, she was the most titled aristocrat in the world.
Paquirri, his father, died in Pozoblanco by the horns of a bull named Avispado, a bull that changed the Rivera’s lifes in late September of 1984.
Despite that tragic memory, Francisco Rivera knew that bulls, the art of capote and elegance in the arena were part of his life and he took the alternative when he was only twenty-one years by the hands of Spartacus and Jesulín de Ubrique as witness.
Season after season, the young Francisco has built up a reputation of professional and serious. The bullfighting is his life …
Cayetano Ordoñez is the second and last child of the marriage composed of the bull matador Francisco Rivera “Paquirri”, and Carmen Ordóñez.
Until recently, his professional future had no direction; he studied some business and cinema in Los Angeles. He finally ended in bullfighting. First novillero and finally on September 10th 2006, at the age of 29 years-old, he took the alternative in the bullring of Ronda to become one of the most famous bullfighters up to date.