The La Malagueta Bullring was built in 1874 by the Malaga architect Joaquín Rucoba, who was inspired by Neo-Mudéjar architecture for his design. Rucoba had studied in Madrid and Paris, and was one of the main representatives of architectural eclecticism in Spain.
The construction of the La Malagueta bullring was carried out thanks to the initiative of a group of bullfighting businessmen and fans from Malaga, who organized themselves into a society called “La Malagueta”. The society’s objective was to build a modern and functional bullring that could accommodate a large number of spectators.
The La Malagueta bullring was inaugurated on June 11, 1876, with a bullfight in which the bullfighters “El Tato”, “Frascuelo” and “Lagartijo” participated. Since then, the square has been the scene of numerous bullfights and bullfighting events, becoming one of the most important spaces for bullfighting in Spain.
In 1981, the Plaza de Toros de La Malagueta was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest by the Junta de Andalucía, thus recognizing its historical and architectural value. Currently, the square continues to be an emblematic place in Malaga and one of the main tourist attractions in the city. It is owned by the Diputación de Málaga.
The architecture of La Malagueta is characterized by its Neo-Mudéjar style, which is inspired by traditional Andalusian and Moorish architecture.
The façade of the square is decorated with horseshoe arches, columns and glazed ceramic tiles, which create a very characteristic effect of light and shadow. Inside, the square has a circular arena surrounded by stone steps and a wood and zinc roof.
La Malagueta has the capacity to accommodate around 10,000 spectators after its latest renovation.
The Bullfights in Malaga
The La Malagueta bullring is the scene of the Malaga bullfighting fair, which is held during the month of August, during the city’s August Fair, as well as other cultural and sporting events.
In April it hosts the traditional Picassian bullfight, which mixes art and spectacle, and is held in homage to the great painter from Malaga, Pablo Ruiz Picasso.
One of the most prominent bullfighters in the province of Malaga has been Antonio Ordóñez. Considered one of the greatest bullfighters in history, he was born in Ronda, Malaga, in 1932. He was one of the main promoters of the Goyesque bullfight, in which the bullfighters wear period costumes and the square is decorated in the style of the 18th century.
In addition to Antonio Ordóñez, there are also other bullfighters from Malaga who have excelled in the world of bullfighting. Some of them are:
- Salvador Vega: Born in Malaga in 1974, Salvador Vega made his debut as a novillero in 1994 and as a bullfighter in 1998. He has participated in numerous bullfights in the Plaza de Toros de La Malagueta and has been awarded various bullfighting prizes.
- Javier Conde: Born in Malaga in 1973, Javier Conde made his debut as a novillero in 1991 and as a bullfighter in 1993. Conde is known for his personal style and elegance in the ring.
- Raúl Jiménez Fortes: Born in Málaga in 1989, Saúl Jiménez Fortes debuted as a novillero in 2009 and as a bullfighter in 2011. He has participated in numerous bullfights in the Plaza de Toros de La Malagueta and has won various bullfighting awards.
- Francisco Rivera Ordóñez: Although he was born in Madrid, Francisco Rivera Ordóñez is the son of Francisco Rivera “Paquirri” and grandson of Antonio Ordóñez, two prominent bullfighters from Malaga. Rivera Ordóñez has participated in numerous bullfights in the La Malagueta bullring and has been one of the most media-ready bullfighters in recent years.