I have long considered the Plaza de Toros in Ronda to be one of Spain’s most impressive historic buildings, and was lucky enough to visit it earlier this month on a scorching hot day – with Ixus 117HS in hand…
It has an extremely strong historical importance within Spain, as it is so closely linked with its social and cultural traditions. It was the first purpose built arena for the sport, completed in 1784 – and although it only seats 5000 spectators – it is has the largest rueda ( arena of sand) in the world at 66 m diameter.
It is built entirely of sandstone, and has a two – storey arcade of Tuscan columns. The proportions are elegant and the colours created by the stone and sand are warm and golden. The quality of the light was amazing – and varied from sun to shade and back again as I explored the photographic opportunities it presented. Each group of tourists came, then left the arena, packing like sardines into the bullfighting museum underneath the galleries – leaving the bullring itself majestic and serene.
I have posted a few of my favourite shots, and have chosen to contrast between the ‘stage’ itself and the stock areas behind the scenes with Colour v Black & White. This is mainly to contrast between the mixed emotions I felt whilst there; the awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur of the architecture against the fascinating, but somehow disturbingly sinister array of barriers, ropes, pens, pulley mechanisms – all carefully designed to control the bulls – ensuring they were confined and ready to be released ( no doubt full of pent – up energy) into the Rueda to thrill the awaiting crowds and give the Matadors their moment of glory & fame……..