October 20, 2020

The bullfighting cultural activity of the Real Maestranza, an unknown jewel | Blog The bull, by the horns


The Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla is a bullfighting cultural center of the highest order; as interesting as few and the most unknown of all. And this happens by decision of the governing board of the institution, so modern to hire the most avant-garde painters as authors of the posters that announce the bullfighting season in the city, and so outdated to edit a publication and corner it in a box.

The Real Maestranza sponsors the Bullfighting Studies Foundation, born in 1989, and which since 1993 publishes two annual issues of the Magazine of Bullfighting Studies (about 300 pages on average), which deals with the study of bullfighting from archeology, anthropology, law, ethics, literature, music, cinema, sociology, history, philosophy, art, genetics, zoology …

The foundation, an authentic cultural treasure, is made up of a group of university professors, all bullfighting enthusiasts, who get relevant signatures of a diverse bullfighting intelligentsia to spoil the party and elevate it to the place it deserves as a cultural heritage.

The Bullfighting Studies Foundation, a cultural treasure

In addition to the magazine, of which 500 copies are published, and with the valuable help of the Real Maestranza and the collaboration of the University of Seville, they publish a book a year, with a circulation of 1,000 copies, in a collection called Bullfighting, whose protagonists include Ignacio Sánchez Mejías, Joselito el Gallo, Juan Belmonte, Pepe Luis Vázquez, Bullfighting in the work of Miguel Barceló, Spanish bullfighting cinema, and so on.

Both the magazine and the book are two jewels that should be disseminated and known throughout the bullfighting world. But it’s not like that. They are given to a list of friends and acquaintances, sold with droppers at the Publications Service of the University of Seville and the Bullfighting Museum, and those that are left over, which are not few, are file In a cardboard box.

And it is not because of the disinterest of the Royal Maestranza, but because their times are from another era, and their gait is firm, but very slow; The institution does not spare resources, but does not know how to sell its treasure.

Some of the publications published with the sponsorship of the Real Maestranza.


Some of the publications published with the sponsorship of the Real Maestranza.

The Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla is a prestigious institution in the city. It is the owner of the bullring, managed since 1932 by the company Pagés, and the buildings that are part of the block of the coso. And their income comes from the rents paid by the businessman Ramón Valencia – it seems that around 22% of the billing at the box office of each celebration – and the tenants of homes and offices adjacent to the walls of this bullfighting cathedral, and the Tickets to the bullfighting museum.

As usual, the income and expenses of the royal house are unknown, but the work it does is obvious, which should be described as extraordinary. Only the maintenance and permanent modernization of the square justify the existence of the institution. The building of La Maestranza is a luxury for bullfighting and a pride for any citizen, regardless of their fondness or not for bulls.

But the master task does not end there.

The times of the Real Maestranza are from another era; his gait is firm, but very slow

The house that houses the institution, next to the square, has a library specialized in genealogical and heraldic sciences, equestrian literature and bullfighting; and an archive with important documentary funds. Both are at the service of those who wish to consult them.

In addition to its sponsorship work with the Bullfighting Studies Foundation, it annually awards university awards to the best records of the different Sevillian faculties, collaborates with associations related to health, social assistance, education, and religious and educational brotherhoods that provide services to those most in need, with special interest in childhood problems; sponsors musical activities, days of contemporary art, and one carries out an intense patronage work dedicated to the conservation of artistic and heritage assets.

The view is that La Maestranza has changed. On its website it states that the goal is to “harmonize modernity and tradition.” And so you have to recognize it, because gentlemen and Amazon Current teachers (few women, but there are among the more than 230 members) are, theoretically, descendants of those gentlemen who in 1248 helped King Ferdinand II the Saint to conquer the city of Seville from the Arab occupation, although they have also opened the doors to recognized professionals and of no noble roots. They do not pay fees or receive benefits, but they can boast their membership in a noble and historical institution.

Those lords of the thirteenth century founded a brotherhood or brotherhood brotherhood, under the invocation of San Hermenegildo, in order to train in the handling of weapons and equestrian practices and be prepared for combat. After different vicissitudes, the kings Felipe II and Felipe III maintain that spirit first in a new institution, so that in the time of Carlos II, in the year 1670, the Royal Cavalry Mastership of Seville is founded, to which Felipe V , who also received help from the teachers in the war of succession to the Spanish crown, grants him the title of real, and that one of his sons, the prince of Parma, (hence the door in honor of the young man) held the position of Big Brother of the corporation. Later, Fernando VII decided to occupy that honor the king himself, and thus the current Felipe VI is the highest authority of the Hispanic institution.

Since its creation, the Real Maestranza organizes bullfighting functions and parties in Seville; first, in the main public squares and, later, in the bullfighting thing that begins to build from 1730.

And from that first wooden square in a place close to the current one, to the building started in 1761, and today is young, slender and proud as the great bullfighting temple of all time.

And of those knights wrapped in heavy armor and ready to fight this group of monarchist citizens to the core, of exquisite education, protocol lovers, reluctant to change, modern and traditional at the same time, members of a private club, select and exclusive, almost secret, and drivers of an admirable bullfighting cultural movement, as interesting as little known.

There follows the Real Maestranza, like the Puerta de Alcalá, watching the wind pass; hopefully change your pace and decide to to sell and teach their cultural jewels.

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