Danza de la Muerte

No trip to Spain would be complete without visiting the Plaza de Toros – not everyone’s cuppa, but as Hemingway said: “Anything capable of arousing passion in its favor will surely raise as much passion against it”.


Two posters advertising the corrida for the coming week.


A little bit of history of the Malaga bullring.


The mounted head of a defeated toro missing both its ears. These were awarded to the torero after what must have been considered a masterful performance. This toro bravo was named Diablero, weighing in at 577 kg. Italian supercar makers, Lamborghini, take the names of their cars from the world of bullfighting. The Islero model being named after the bull that killed Manolete, Spain’s most famous torero.**


Above the same Diablero, but the picture to the right of it has an interesting story told to me by the owner of the café where some of these pictures were taken.

I’ve Googled a bit to try and get some info on the bull: it seems its name was Civilon; it was made tame(as tame as a toro bravo can be), and became quite famous because of this. It was eventually booked to appear at the Barcelona plaza in 1936 to face up to the torero Luis Gomez Calleja. The normally placid Civilon, which could be surrounded by children without flinching, reverted to type once in the ring and fought with such ferocious bravery that the crowd and the President of the plaza were so impressed that they granted Civilon a reprieve, and he was only caped and not killed by the torero.
While Civilon recovered from his wounds at the plaza, the Civil War broke out, soldiers came to Barcelona, and the toro bravo Civilon that had walked away from the danza de la muerta was killed along with all the other livestock to feed the hungry soldiers.


Some old newspaper cuttings from the 1950’s.


The Fuengirola Plaza de Toros at night.


The statue of José Antonio Galán, Fuengirola’s famous son, outside the Plaza de Toros.


Another shot from the wall of the cafe we were in. The owner told me he isn’t a fan of the bullfight, but it’s a part of Spanish history which cannot be ignored.


Older poster adorning the wall of the cafe.


Part of the torero’s uniform.

The café where these pictures were taken was El Rincón De Linares, where they served a massive pint and the finest tapas you can find. We had intended to have our final Spanish meal there but they were having a siesta when we arrived, and we didn’t have time to wait around.
If you’re in Fuengirola check it out; superb service – the owner translated the entire menu for us, even though we weren’t eating that day. More info here. 

**  Lamborghini took his toro-inspired car names from the bulls of the Miura ganaderia. Here’s some of the real story:

” (…) When Italian car maker Ferruccio Lamborghini visited the Miura ranch in 1962, he was so impressed with these majestic animals that he decided to adopt the bull as his emblem. Not only that, between 1966 and 1972 Lamborghini produced the Miura with a 12 cylinder-V engine, 5-speed manual transmission and a top speed of 276 kilometres per hour. Next came the Islero which was revealed at the 1968 Geneva Auto Show and between 1968 and 978, the popular Espada (Spanish for sword and a synonym for matador). (…)” 
With thanks to aficionado P. Hildering


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