Spanish bull: description, dimensions, weight, photo. Bullfights: bullfighting traditions, features, stages and rules

Spanish bull: description, dimensions, weight, photo. Bullfights: bullfighting traditions, features, stages and rules
Spanish bull: description, dimensions, weight, photo. Bullfights: bullfighting traditions, features, stages and rules

Corrida, or bullfighting, is a traditional entertainment spectacle in Spain. In other varieties, it exists, in particular, in Portugal and a number of South American countries. But still, in its real, traditional form, bullfighting can only be seen in Spain.

In this article, you will learn about the origin of this spectacle, its historical development, what the Spanish fighting bull is, intended for bullfighting, and how the fights are conducted.

Where did bullfighting come from?

Bullfights as entertainment events have been known since ancient Greece and Imperial Rome. However, the origins of this modern spectacle, as historians suggest, go back to the ritual killing of bulls, which were considered sacred animals by the Iberians, a people who inhabited the Iberian Peninsula about 4 thousand years ago.

Only graduallyThe performance took on a theatrical quality. Such well-known rulers as Charlemagne and Alphonse the Wise were not indifferent to bullfighting. And in the Middle Ages, it became an entertainment for all persons of noble birth.

A bit of history

By the 16th century, bullfighting becomes what can already be called a "cultural factor". Most Spanish holidays are not complete without this grandiose spectacle. It has become a tradition to hold a bullfight in one of the central squares in Madrid - Plaza Mayor. True, Pope Pius V then issued a document prohibiting arranging and watching bullfights under pain of excommunication, but soon this decree - not without the participation of the then monarch - was canceled.

Black fighting bull

By the beginning of the XYIII century, bullfighting became a favorite pastime of the lower class as well. At the same time, it became almost everywhere on foot, only in some areas mounted bullfighters (picadors) entered into battle with bulls. The rituals were fully formed over the next century and have come down to our time as they were, for example, in medieval Andalusia.

"Golden Age" is called the 10-20s of the twentieth century. It was the time of the glory of the Spanish matador Juan Belmonte, who is still called the founder of the style of modern bullfighting, and his equally famous rivals José Gomez and Rafael Gonzalez.

Corrida and animal protection movement

Bullfights have always evoked conflicting emotions in the audience - from sharp rejection to noisy delight. But only after the Civil War the mostopponents of this art form have loudly declared themselves. Their pressure only increased in the future. It is very possible that at present bullfighting has almost more enemies than supporters. And while bullfighting means as much to Spain as football, animal rights activists are determined to get the European Parliament to ban these performances. And if Spain as a whole has not yet surrendered under their onslaught, then in Catalonia the last bullfight took place on September 25, 2011. More than 20,000 spectators are said to have attended that bloody performance at Barcelona's Monumental Stadium that day.

Corrida in Spain has always been valued as a holiday, although it took place according to a special schedule. It has attracted and continues to attract many tourists. In addition, we althy people can order a separate performance at their own expense.

And still the most attractive thing about bullfighting is its unpredictability. Except that matadors, they say, die now, thanks to the achievements of modern medicine, much less often.

What does a bullring look like?

In the early days, when bullfighting was just emerging and going through the first stages of its development, the arenas were rectangular in shape. As a rule, city squares were reserved for this spectacle, as was the case in Madrid. The same squares hosted the most important events for the country - for example, parades or coronation celebrations with the appeal of the monarchs to their people.

In the 18th century, when the rules of bullfighting were almost completely formed, the shape of the arenachanged - it became round. This was done so that the bulls during the performance did not have the opportunity to hide in a corner. Over the next years, the circle was transformed into an elongated oval. Otherwise, everything remained traditional - sand cover, seats for spectators in an amphitheatre. The arena is separated from the seats for spectators by a protective barrier, usually not less than 140 cm high. The office premises are also located there.

arena, bullfight

Interestingly, the largest arena is not located in Spain - the largest arena for a bloody spectacle today remains the Monumental Plaza de Toros in Mexico City. It is designed for 55 thousand spectators.

About the bullfighter

It took a long time for the boy, sent to study with the venerable bullfighter, to also become a professional. The matador (translated from Spanish as "killing bulls"; other names are bullfighter or bullfighter) was a respected person in Spain. As a rule, honor was accompanied by money and fame. And injuries, since it was almost impossible to maintain good he alth into old age, earning a living in such a dangerous trade. Many of the bullfighters died in their youth. Those who managed to survive - it was somehow calculated - received at least 200 injuries of varying severity during their careers.

matador woman

Surprisingly, the matador profession in Spain is currently one of the most attractive. Among them there are even representatives of the beautiful half of humanity.

In Madrid, by the way, in 1976there is an educational institution for the training of matadors.

Torero costume

The outfit of the foot bullfighter was called traje de luces, which literally means "suit of lights". Until the 18th century, it was suede, and then they began to sew it from silk and decorate it with gold and silver embroidery.

The costume itself usually contains the following elements:

  • montera - Spanish flat hat, which was used in the manufacture of coarse black velvet thread;
  • short jacket embellished with gold tassels hanging from the shoulders;
  • tight pantaloons with suspenders;
  • shirt, usually white, with jabot or tie.

From accessories that complement the appearance, the matador entering the arena also had stockings (usually pink) and overhead braids with ribbons (tunics) that served to secure the headdress.

matador with bull

The bullfighter had black shoes with a bow as a decoration, without a heel, with non-slip soles. The most luxurious in a torero costume was, of course, a cloak (some matadors did without it), also with numerous decorations in the form of drawings or embroidery - Capote de Paseo. Another of the accessories that bears a similar name is the Capote, which is a fabric in the same shape as the cape, but heavier. It is used to play the torero with the bull. Finally, there is also the sword with which the matador stabs the bull. The end of this weapon is slightly curved and is called muerte (meaning "death").

Spanish Fighting Bull

This is an animal that zoologists otherwisecalled the Lydian bull, according to its constitution, it is closest to the tour (the Spanish name for the fighting bull is toro) - an ancient extinct artiodactyl, which is considered the ancestor of all cattle. It was huge and clumsy, with a long massive body and large and sharp horns.

Is there a breed of Spanish bulls intended for bullfighting? Yes, these animals have been bred exclusively for this purpose for so long that they can be separated into a separate breed. Each bull has its own pedigree.

Of course, an animal intended for bullfighting must impress the viewer with its dimensions, cause fear and awe. The height at the withers of an adult bull is on average a little over one and a half meters. How much does a Spanish bull weigh? Its weight is 350-500 kg (the norm is 450 kg), depending on whether it is a male or a female. You can see what a real Spanish bull looks like in the photo below. Handsome. isn't it?

Bull for bullfighting

The age of the Spanish fighting bull, which is being prepared for the spectacle, is also important. A bull that has not reached two years is called a calf, from 2 to 4 years - "novillo". Only at four years old will the animal be fit for a full-fledged bullfight. Experienced matadors will come out to fight with him. In addition, in accordance with the ancient canons, when the slaughter of an animal was a ritual act, it had to have a dark color - black is best, but dark brown is also possible.

In order for the Spanish bull to be recognized as fit to fight, he must pass seven "castes" - special selection criteria. It must be reala fighter who can resist the bullfighter.

Bulls brought to the city for fights were driven through the streets before they started. This action has also become traditional. The running of the bulls was not so much an advertising campaign as it made it possible for every resident to feel like a participant in a bullfight, dodging hooves.

Before the fight, a colored pennant was stuck into the scruff of the bull, indicating which farm the animal was raised on. Most of the fights ended with the death of the animal. But if he still managed to survive, he ended his days on a farm, where he was used exclusively for breeding.

Stages of the duel

The spectacle traditionally consists of three parts, which are called thirds. The beginning of each of them heralds a loud sound of the trumpet. The first two thirds are test fights. In the initial stage, the main participants of the bullfight - the matadors - enter the arena. They march past the chairmen in a routine manner: the bullfighters themselves are in the front row. In the rest - assistants-retinue of the main participants (picadors, or mounted fighters, and banderilleros). Next up are the stage workers.

In the first third ("third of the peak"), a bull will be released from the corral, which will meet with the bullfighter's assistant. He will perform a series of manipulations with the cloak in front of the animal in order to awaken its aggression.

Then a picador will appear (one or two). His task will be to keep the bull inside the white circle with the help of a lance. In this case, the horse is usually dressed in special protective armor, since an angry bull often rushes at the horse, trying to knock it over with its horns. In this third, the bull is brought to suchthe state that he rushes around the arena, literally sweeping away everything in his path. There were cases when the animal reached the audience.

Wounded matador

It must be said that the profession of a picador is the most traumatic in bullfighting. Many of them fall from the horse and fall under the hooves of heavy animals. There were also cases when, after the fall of the picador, a horse fell on him.

The second third is otherwise called "the third of the banderillas". Its meaning is to "cheer" the bull and moderate his rage. Banderilleros are stuck into the withers of the bull with special miniature spears with a multi-colored edge on the shaft - banderillas. They remain in the body of the animal until the end of the duel.


The third third consists of the main action of the duel - killing the bull. As a rule, the matador dedicates this death to one of the chairmen. Therefore, before starting the fight itself, the bullfighter takes off his hat and bows in the direction of this person. Sometimes he makes a speech. Then, according to established tradition, he usually tosses his hat over his left shoulder without looking. It is believed that if the hat fell upside down, this is a bad sign, foreshadowing the injury or defeat of the matador.

Spanish bullfighter

Actually, the last third begins with the so-called muleta test. Using a number of techniques ("el natural", "el derechazo", "pas de pecho", "trinchera"), approaching the animal as close as possible, the bullfighter waves a large red cloak in front of him, which drives him into a frenzy. After which the bullfighter must stab the bull with a blow of the swordin the heart. If, after the first ten minutes of the third, the bull is still not killed, the bullfighter is given a warning. After three minutes, if the position does not change, the second follows.

The main thing that a matador needs to do in order for the fight to be considered successful is to stab the bull, being in close proximity with him, as they say, "face to face". The sword must enter a certain place between the ribs and pierce the heart. All this is done so that the animal does not suffer. Of course, killing a huge angry bull with one blow is a very difficult task, so it happens that the first blow is unsuccessful, and the second too. At this most dangerous stage, the wounded animal often suffers, bleeding, and it can also cripple or kill the matador himself.

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