Plaza de Toros in Valencia
Plaza de Toros

Architectural elements and style

The Plaça de Bous is one of the most important visual landmarks of the city, despite the urban planning of its surroundings, which tend to cover it up and make it hard to appreciate the bullring’s true scale.

Style

As you will immediately notice, the Plaza de Toros is an amphitheatre reminiscent of the Roman Coliseum, although much smaller. With its simple arches and exposed brick, it can be classified as Neoclassical.

Neoclassical architecture, which rose to popularity in the 18th century, drew inspiration from the art and canons of classical antiquity and continued to be popular in the 19th and 20th centuries. The style was based on the principles of harmony and symmetry, seen as virtues of Ancient Roman and Greek art.

Thus, in Neoclassical architecture like the Plaza de Toros you’ll find simple geometry and moderation. You’ll see this particularly in the use of ornamentation, which is very restrained, with only a few mouldings.

You’ll also notice that most of the aesthetic character of the building comes from the repetition and symmetry of the elements - the arches, the columns, the balustrades, and the brick.

Elements

The building is in the shape of a cylinder formed by orders of porticoed galleries rising above one another. Although the bullring looks circular, it is actually a 48-sided polygon, with every arch forming one of the sides.

The total height is 16.9 m (55 feet), with an outer diameter of 108 m (354 feet). The inner diameter, that of the arena, is 52 m (170 feet). There are a total of 384 arches that open up the porticoes to the exterior, distributed over four orders.

The ground floor presents segmental arches (a broad type of arch with a slight curvature at the top). Meanwhile, the three upper floors have semicircular arches (the classic arch where the top part forms a semicircle). Crowning the whole building is a stone balustrade.

Inside, supporting the grandstand, you’ll find bare iron railings. This, aside from being the first example in the city of such use of the material, gives great transparency to the area, allowing for a perfect view of the arena.

Introduction
Architectural elements and style