Ermita Plaza de Toros
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Granada's Passionate Past, Ever Present
I realize that bullfighting is a sport that people are passionate about loving or hating (for both equally obvious reasons) and I wanted to have the experience while I was in Andalucia, so that I could make my own decision about how I felt. I'd seen posters for the event all over Granada and walked over to the ticket offices built into the facade of 1920's Plaza del Toros about mid-day and bought a ticket in the cheap seats and confirmed the time that everything would begin that Saturday (7 PM). I made sure to return around 6 PM and the square was alive with sharply dressed locals, caballeros and their girlfriends arriving on horseback, and many a passionate person placing bets as to how the fights would unfold. Blame it on Ernest Hemingway but there IS something romantic about this battle. The band, the colors (so many men in pink) the risk involved, the showmanship of the fighters. To be fair, during my evening at the arena, I saw both human and animal be victorious and I found it beautifully fair. I'm not sure if I'd go again, but I'm so glad that I experienced such a truly Spanish, tradition. The arena seats just under 15,000 and it was a sold out crowd of people singing, cheering, booing and throwing flowers at their favorite fighter. If you feel like stepping back in time while you're in Andalucia, look for the posters advertising the bullfights, get just a wee bit dressed up and head out for a cultural experience that is hard to capture elsewhere.
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