The Plaza de Toros (bullring) in Ronda occupies a very special place in modern Spanish culture and history as the home of the Rondeño style of bullfighting and also of the Real Maestranza De Caballería De Ronda. The bullring was built entirely of stone in the 18th century, during the golden years of Pedro Romero’s reign as champion bullfighter.
Home to the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda, Spain’s oldest and most noble order of horsemanship, an order that traces its heritage back to 1485, and the year the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella defeated the Moors in Ronda, thus bringing the city back under Christian rule after 773 years of Islamic rule.
Many tourist guides will tell you the Ronda bullring is the oldest and largest in Spain, in fact the story is confusing. Our little bullring only has seating for 5,000 spectators, hardly the largest in the world, but the rueda, which is the large round circle of sand, is the largest in the world at 66m, making it 6m larger than Spain’s biggest bullring, the Plaza Toros Las Ventas in Madrid.
The bullring in Sevilla is considered older having commenced construction in 1761, and was completed in 1785, compared to Ronda’s commencement in 1779 and completion in 1784, though purists agree Ronda’s bullring should be entitled to the crown since it was first to stage a corrida. However, in May of 1784 during the first inaugural corrida to be held in Ronda’s Plaza de Toros, part of the stand collapsed forcing its closure until repairs could be made.