Plaza de Toros

At the edge of Valencia’s Old Town stands a Neoclassical temple of dust, sweat, and blood. This 19th-century bullring is home to one of the most controversial Spanish practices.

The Plaza de Toros, also called Plaça de Bous (in Valencian) is the city’s bullring. It is considered by many one of the most important in Spain, where bullfights are regularly held up to this day.

Bullfighting is an extremely ancient tradition in Valencia, even though the ring was built in the 1800s. In fact, for centuries before then, bullfighting events would take place in empty squares all over the city and in temporary wooden bullrings.

With the growing popularity of the city and the celebrations, it was deemed necessary to build a permanent venue to host the events.

The style of the building, of course, is very indicative of the era in which it was built. As you’ll see, the bullring is strongly reminiscent of ancient Roman and Greek art, in keeping with the Neoclassical taste of the time. The lines are simple and clean, quite harmonious, and with minimal decoration.

Exteriors of Plaza de Toros in Valencia

Bullfighting is one of the most popular elements of Spanish culture on an international level. At the same time, it is also one of the most controversial.

Some consider it a viscerally significant part of Spanish tradition. For them, it is a ritualised art form in which the public is led to emotional catharsis by a noble display of bravery - both on the part of the bullfighter and the bull - and by the tragic, inevitable ending - the death of the animal.

Others instead, especially among the younger generations, where bullfighting is actively disliked, consider it an inhumane and unnecessarily cruel practice.

If you want to experience the trepidation and excitement of a bullfight in a Spanish bullring, remember that the most important events are held in March, during the Fallas festival and during the July Fair.

Otherwise, if you prefer not to attend such events, the bullring remains open year-round for tourist visits. Plaza de Toros is lodged between Valencia’s old quarters and the newer neighbourhoods, right next to the main train station, Estación del Norte.

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