When I heard that we were going to a bullfight at the Las Ventas Plaza de Toros in Madrid, I had no idea what we were getting into. I’d heard of bullfighting, but I didn’t know much about it.
Bullfighting’s history traces back thousands of years, but bullfighting generated increased popularity by the Spanish in the 18th century. In the 19th century, the Spanish government began promoting bullfighting as a national symbol. Since then, bullfighting spread to Portugal, Latin America, and Asia.
Inside and outside, the arena resembles the Coliseum in Rome.
Okay, now, I started to get confused. What’s up with the dudes on padded horses? Turns out these guys wield spears and rile up the bulls by stabbing them. Plus, poor horses are blindfolded and face the wrath of the bull’s horns.
Matadors scattered around the arena stab and provoke the bull until the main matador slays the bull with a stab to the heart. However, matadors do not always succeed on the first try. It’s a bloody, gruesome “sport”. Luckily for them, they have a barrier to hide behind.
As you can see, the bull has barbs stuck in its back.
The matadors at the beginning of the event are the opening acts. In this case, the bull “won” against this matador. Unfortunately (or fortunately for the battered bull), the next matador finished him off.
After seeing one act, I couldn’t stand to watch another. Bullfighting popularity has declined in recent years and certain cities have outlawed it. I only hope that soon it will be banned everywhere.