10 April 2008

The bullfighting museum in Valencia

The bullfighting museum, next to the the bullring in the centre of Valencia is small, but gives an interesting insight into this sport which is deep-rooted in southern Spain. The museum is free and we were also presented with a pack of booklets in English with information on the museum, the bullring and some background about the bulls and bullfighters. After seeing the museum you can take a look inside the bull-ring itself, although it wasn't possible for us as they were preparing for a bullfight the next day.

The stairs as you walk up to the museum were covered with photos of the great matadors of the past, posters and other bullfighting memorabilia. The main exhibits were the costumes of the bullfighting greats with information about the matadors who had worn them. The costumes known as Traje de Luces or 'suit of lights' are beautifully embroidered and skin tight and there was an interactive presentation where you could dress the matador, which explained the different items of clothing.

We noticed one green and gold costume with a large gash in the leg - I bet that spoiled his day, commented my son, and on looking more closely we discovered that it had been worn by the torero Manolo Cortes on the day of his death.


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16 comments:

Jeffrey said...

While torero's are definitely brave for the feats that they perform, it is terrible to see what is done to those bulls.

I do think it is a unique part of Spanish culture, though, and it should be celebrated as such. Unfortunately, a bullfight was one thing I did not see when I studied in Spain. Hopefully I will be able to next time, because I know a lot of Spaniards that really enjoy going to these with a group of friends. Do you have any plans to go to one?

Heatheronhertravels said...

My husband and son did go and see one last time we were in Spain - part of me would like to see it for the spectacle but when I saw the film at the museum it made me sad to see an animal treated that way so I think I'll be giving it a miss.

laradunston said...

I'm kind of with Jeffrey on this one - it's part of the culture, in Spain and Latin American countries. I have to admit to having been to probably well over 20 bullfights in Spain, Mexico, Peru. Watching the crowd is the most fascinating part - the cross-section of people is extraordinary - it's really a microcosm of society - wealthy, poor, old, young. When the matador is talented there's little pain to the bull and it's rarely gruesome to watch, but when you have a newbie who is trying to show off. Eek. The Portuguese manage to pull off bullfighting without harm to the bull - very amusing.

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Heather Cowper said...

@Anonymous

You are welcome to your express your views on bullfighting but please do it in a non-abusive manner and put a name to your comments

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