You'll hear the olés resonate from all around. Don't be surprised that Las Ventas bullring has the nickname Monumental. This enormous neo-Mudejar building was completed in 1925. There was in fact another in the centre of Madrid, but only existed until the end of the nineteenth century next to Puerta de Alcalá, but it was demolished as it was too small to satisfy the madrileños' passion for bullfighting. And it was not just Madrid's residents, celebrities from overseas such as Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, Greta Garbo, Pablo Picasso and Sofía Loren feature in famous photographs of the ring. It is currently the world's most important and the third biggest in the world with a capacity of 23,000 spectators. You can feel the tension and the excitement at 5 in the afternoon, with the sun beating down, in a fight between March and October during the bullfighting season. If not, you can always visit the inside of this red bricked temple to learn all about the ritual and concepts such as the paseillo (the ceremonial entry of bullfighters), the tendido (lower level seating) or the Puerta Grande (main gate). Even though many are against bullfighting, it can do no harm to learn about this quintessentially Spanish tradition. The rest, feeling the magic which many claim to feel, is up to you. For further information visit www.las-ventas.com.
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