The bullfight is the most immediate image most foreigners have of Spain, but it is not a fight. The Matador is a name most have heard of and yet the Spanish do not call him that.
It is an event that stirs passions and causes heated debate and yet this happens in the main beyond Spain’s frontiers.
The Spanish maintain that the majority in attendance at the Corrida de Toros are tourists, for who the experience was in fact reworked to make it more ‘acceptable’.
The bullring is the last remnant of the Roman games and has found favour in the New World and a very different variant in neighbouring Portugal. Great aficionados such as Hemingway and Orson Welles waxed lyrical about it. The French hispanophiles have done much to proclaim its merits and attractions, thereby forming the romantic view held by those fascinated with Spain’s fiesta nacional.
This brief guide then will faithfully instruct those keen to learn of this cultural pillar without which, rightly or wrongly, Spain would be less present in our collective imagination.