The bullrings of Andalusia constitute outstanding examples of Spanish architecture. Modelled after the ancient amphitheatres of the Roman empire, beautiful examples of these Plazas de Toros can be found all over the region, such as the one in Ronda - built in the 18th century, it is one of the oldest - or Sevilles impressive Maestranza, considered the "cathedral of bullfighting".
Granadas bullring has been transformed into a lively restaurant center and nightspot.
Aside from being used for their original purpose, Andalusias bullrings are now being pressed into service for new functions. A good number of them double as taurine museums, such as those in Ronda, Seville and Malaga. Their design also makes them ideal as venues for rock concerts and other open air events.
The bullring in Granada, a striking example of neo-Mudejar architecture which was inaugurated in 1928, has become the citys trendiest spot for food and nightlife. The spaces under the grandstands were being used as carpentry shops and auto workshops when in the mid-Nineties it occurred to Jesus Carrillo, a local tavern owner, to convert one of the premises into a typical Andalusian bar. Unfortunately, he died tragically before he could see his creation completed - it opened in 1997 - but the enormous success of the establishment, Tendido 1, is a tribute to his foresight. Soon the neighbouring premises were renovated, with striking results, to house restaurants and bars, each with its own flavour and catering to a specific segment: theres everything from a flamenco bar (Ole y Ole) to a gourmet restaurant (La Ermita), a modern music bar (El Tercer Aviso) to the atmosphere of a traditional Andalusian tavern (La Gran Taberna). Together they have transformed this part of Granada into one of the citys liveliest hot spots, and more establishments are in the works.
Every so often, though, Granadas plaza de toros reverts to its former self, as crowds witness the spectacle of the corrida. There are around twenty bullfights a year, especially during Granadas annual Corpus Christi fair in late spring.
Nearest airport: Granada (6 miles, 10 km)
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Copyright © 2000 An Andalusian Experience. Text by Mark Little. Photography by J. D. Dallet - A Freelance Spain production
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Copyright © 2000-2006 Mark and David Little & J.D. Dallet