It’s been a good week, being on “staycation” in Sevilla, though an inordinate amount of time has been spent looking for ceiling and wall lamps for the new Casa Azahar. Which led to not one, but two, visits to El Corte Inglés in Nervión. The first time finished with a fab lunch at Casa Paco “El Buen Comer”, making the trip worthwhile (even though I came home empty handed). But a couple of days later I decided to go back for the two wall lamps I’d seen there, which ended with an early evening walk home down Eduardo Dato (totally beat the 10,000 steps record that day!). And along the way we passed what is left of Sevilla’s second, and short-lived, bullring, La Monumental.
I’d first learned about its existence back in 2009, after visiting La Monumental tapas bar, located on the old site and filled with bullfighting memorabilia, including framed contemporary news clippings about Sevilla’s almost forgotten bullring.
This ill-fated second Plaza de Toros was first opened to the public in 1918, closed in 1921, and finally demolished in 1930. The driving force behind its construction was the famous bullfighter José Gómez Ortega, known as Joselito el Gallo, whose death in the ring on May 16, 1920 was a contributory factor in its closing. In 1915, when construction started, this was a ‘greenfield’ site a short way outside the city. Its demolition made way for the new suburbs that now spread out to Nervión and beyond.
The architects were José Espiau y Muñoz and Francisco Urcola Lazcanotegui, whose other works include the splendid Hotel Alfonso XIII, and the Edificio Adriática at the end of Avenida de la Constitución.
Since the first time I visited this remaining gate to the bullring a plaque has been put up. Can you believe that for all these years it just stood there without anybody knowing what it was? Anyhow, the plaque reads…
“Here was the monumental one of Seville (1918 – 1921) driven by Joselito El Gallo, King of Los Toreros”. September 2012, centenary of the alternative of Joselito, his supporters.