Bullfights in Malaga, Spain


Although some consider bullfighting a politically incorrect activity, it still is very much a vital part of Spain and its rich culture. It is a testimony of one’s discipline, strength of will, training and courage. A matador’s graceful maneuvers are the products of extensive training- usually since childhood!

In a corrida (a bullfighting match, if you will) three matadors pit their skills with six bulls or toros. Each “fight” lasts for about a quarter of an hour. The matadors are the superstars in the corrida and are resplendent in their costumes – the traje de luces. This “suit of lights” is intricately designed – the silk jacket is painstakingly embroidered with gold, the tight trousers perfectly fitted to the matador. A bicorne hat completes the ensemble. The matador’s skill is measured by his bravery – his being calm and relaxed in the face of danger, his grace as he swings the cape and his ability to get as near as he could to the bull.

BullfightingThe bull is let out of the toril or bull pen and the bullfight begins. The bullfight is composed of three stages. First, the picadors, who ride on horses, carry lances that they are expected to plunge into the bull’s neck and flanks. A judge determines how long this is supposed to last. Then come the banderilleros, bearing sharpened and colorfully designed sticks - banderillas. The baderilleros must poke their sticks into the bull’s neck to prepare it and to lower its head.

Then, the matador begins the last act of the bullfight, or the faena. The bull has been weakened, but this is also the most dangerous time as the bull is not enraged and ready to kill. The matador faces this angry bull with only just his cape and his sword. The matador makes a number of maneuvers – intricate, ballet-like movements that display the grace and skill of the matador. Each maneuver draws excited cries from the crowd because of the dangers it poses to the matador. This goes on until at last the matador goes for the kill, stabbing the bull, right between the shoulder blades. However, if the matador is not carefully or skillful enough, it is the bull that gets lucky.

The MalaguetaThe Malagaueta Bullring is the most prominent in Malaga. It can seat 15,000 and is located right in the heart of the City Center. It also has a museum dedicated to bullfighting.

Aside from La Malagueta bullring, which can seat 15,000, there are other bullrings to be found in the towns in the Malaga province. Here is a list:

1. Algarrobo – Seats 3,000 and was opened at the end of the 19th century.
2. Antequera – This ancient bullring opened as early as 1848 and seats 8,200.
3. Benalauria – The bullring in this town can accommodate 5,000 viewers.
4. Benalmádena – This bullring can accommodate an audience of 3,600 and was opened in 1968.
5. Carratraca – With a seating capacity of 3,000 and was opened in 1878.
6. Coín – Can seat 4,000 avid bullfight fans.
7. Cortes de la Frontera – Can seat 1,000 spectators.
8. Estepona – Can accommodate 8,000, this bullring started its operations in 1972.
9. Fuengirola – This bullring opened its doors in 1962.
10. Gaucín - capacity 6.000 spectators.
11. Marbella - opened in 1964, capacity 9.500 spectators.
12. Nueva Andalucía - opened in 1968.
13. Plaza de Ronda – Seats 6,000 and was opened in 1785.
14. Torremolinos - Opened in 1968.
15. Vélez-Malaga – Can accommodate 5,000 and was opened in 1894.