The Malagueta Bullring has been hosting and celebrating bullfighting events for over 140 years. It is a must if you go to the city of Malaga, as it has a great historical tradition, enjoys an impressive presence within the city and is of great beauty. Moreover, it is located in a central area of Malaga and, since last summer, it houses the function of Cultural Centre where many events are held and famous people from the world of Literature and Arts hold conferences in this magical and special place. Therefore, La Malagueta Bullring can become a very interesting visit for all kinds of public. Furthermore, the bullring has been hosting gastronomic celebrations for some years now, such as the gastronomic fairs or “The Gastronomy Square”, in which various companies offer tastings and tapas of typical products of the city of Malaga.
History of La Malagueta Bullring
La Malagueta is a bullring located in the province of Malaga, specifically in the area that gives it its name: La Malagueta, next to Paseo de Reding. Its construction began in 1847 by the Spanish architect Joaquin de Rucoba and Octavio de Toledo, who also worked in the Atarazanas Market, Malaga Park and, outside it has made works such as the town hall of Bilbao or the Arriaga Theatre.
The inauguration of the bullring was celebrated on June 11, 1876, with a bullfight led by the bullfighters Rafael Molina Lagartijo, Antonio Carmona y Luque, and Manuel Domínguez. The plans of the project carried out by the architect Rucoba, specifically those of the structure of the building, the pillars, and the balconies, are currently conserved in the Royal Gaudí Chair of the Superior Technical School of Architecture of Barcelona. It is not known for sure why the plans are preserved in Barcelona instead of in the city of Malaga, although the rest of the documentation can be found in the County Council of Malaga.
During the last months of the Civil War, in 1939, the great saturation that existed in the concentration camps for prisoners in Malaga, which were located in the La Aurora factory, led to the bullring being used for this purpose. In 1943, it was again used as a prison housing foreign refugees who had fled from France during the Second World War.
In 1976 it was declared a Historic-Artistic Site, just on the centenary of its inauguration. Later, in 1981, it was declared a Site of Cultural Interest. At present the ownership of the bullring belongs to the County Council of Malaga, since the Council of Malaga made a transfer of rights of possession in order to pay debts it had with the County Council.
The building style of the bullring is neo-Mudejar, and after the reform that was carried out in 2010, has a capacity of 9,032 people. The diameter of the ring is 52 metres, and within the installations of the bullring we find 4 corrals, 10 chiqueros (pens), a corral for the horses, stables, a bullfighting room, and an infirmary. In addition, within its premises is located the Antonio Ordóñez Bullfighting Museum.
This area is in season, and among its most important celebrations we can highlight the bullfights held at Easter, called Corrida Picassiana and Corrida de la Prensa, the bullfight held in June for the feast of the Patrons Saints San Ciriaco and Paula, the August celebrations for the fair, and the September bullfights during the feast of the patron saint of Malaga, Our Lady St. Mary of Victory.
Timetable to visit La Malagueta Bullring
The Bullfighting Museum of Malaga “Antonio Ordóñez” is open from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 14:00. However, it is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Prices to visit La Malagueta Bullring
The general price for all visitors is 1.80 euros, while for children under 7 years of age entrance is free.
How to get to La Malagueta Bulrring
The Malaga bullring is in the heart of the Malagueta neighbourhood, that is, practically in the centre. It is a 15-minute walk from the Plaza de la Marina and about ten minutes from the Cathedral, so going on foot is one of the most recommended options if you are in the city centre.
On the other hand, if you are not staying in a central area during your visit to the city of Malaga, there are numerous EMT bus lines that will drop you off at the Plaza de Toros stop, right in front of it. The lines you can take to get to the bullring are 3, 11, 32, 33, 34 and 35.
Curiosities about La Malagueta Bullring
- In the month of August, the Malagueta Bullring hosts a great annual event, the Bullfighting Fair, which offers a wide program of bullfights and brings great figures of bullfighting. La corrida picassiana celebrated at Easter is very remarkable and is especially striking because the bullfighters wear bullfighting costumes inspired by the artistic practice, vision, and debit forms of the famous Malaga painter Pablo Picasso.
- Many guided tours are offered that include the La Malagueta bullring in their itinerary and may be of great interest to visitors. Some of the most popular are, for example, historical tours of Malaga by Segway which, in addition to including the bullring, also include other monuments of great interest, such as the Gibralfaro Castle or the Roman Theatre of Malaga, and can be especially attractive to children.
- During its more than 140 years of existence, the bullring has been modified numerous times with the intention of reinforcing its structure, and its adjacent buildings have also been transformed. Between 1930 and 1940 the facade was modified by painting it white with a layer of mortar. During the 1960s the corrals were extended and in the 1970s the structure was reinforced.
- Since these last restorations, the deterioration of the bullring has been progressive, and the Provincial Council has had to invest a great economic burden for its maintenance. The rehabilitation project of the Malagueta bullring has consisted of two phases and the economic investment has been 5.3 million euros. The stands have been cleaned and waterproofed in the first phase, the facade has been rehabilitated, the structure reinforced, and it has been given a new cultural use in the second phase. Once the restoration and conservation work has been completed, a new cultural space has been created in La Malagueta, which belongs to the La Térmica Cultural Centre.
- The Cultural Centre that houses the bullring comes from the Provincial Council and has enabled the bullring of a conference centre and events of two rooms, with a capacity of 200 spectators. A bullfighting art centre, a temporary exhibition area on the ground floor, and a permanent exhibition area, as well as a cafeteria-restaurant on the upper floor, are the services that the bullring has been equipped with in order to fulfil its function as a Cultural Centre.
- In addition, for quite some time now, the La Malagueta bullring has been home to “The Gastronomy Square”, an initiative in which the bullring is provided with a wide range of cuisine through various food stalls that are set up in all the facilities. In addition, the “Great Taste of Malaga Fair” is also held during the month of December, starting at 12:00 and ending at 21:00. During these celebrations, the gastronomic culture of Malaga is highlighted and many dishes and typical products of the city are offered to the visitors every year with great joy, which is a great economic benefit for Malaga, as well as highlighting its richness, both cultural and gastronomic, and activates the small local companies of the city by giving them visibility through their magnificent products that are distributed in tastings during these celebrations.