As has happened in so many cities with taurine histories, there were a number of different places where corridas de toros were celebrated before there was the permanent plaza de toros that we have today.
Let’s look at these first arenas
– The first place that we know of where there were taurine celebrations is the Plaza de las Cuatro Calles, today known as Constitución. Moreover the street called “Toril” marks the área where the chiqueros (holding pens for the bulls) were when this plaza was active in about 1492.
– There was a Project in 1774 to build a plaza de toros in an eliptical shape, but it was never realized.
– At the end of the 18th century, a wooden plaza de toros with a capacity of 5,000 was constructed next to the old Convent of Carmen.
-In 1817, another wooden plaza de toros was built near the Mediterranean Sea and it would become known as the plaza de toros of the Pescadería (Fish Shop). It held more people than the first plaza, and eventually it was replaced by a smaller one in the Puerta Nueva, which put on only novilladas and minor spectacles.
-In 1849, the plaza de toros of Álvarez was inaugurated. It was situated next to the Convent of San Francisco. The inaugural cartel was comprised of the matadors Montes and Parra, along with bulls from the ganadería of Alvareda. It was made of masonry and brick, with the grada (second tier) being made of wood. It lasted less than 15 years before it was demolished in 1864 by its own proprietor who became furious when a corrida was suspended in order to “keep public order”. It held 12,000 people.
– The replacement for this was the plaza de la Victoria, which had characteristics of a theater but also acted as a plaza de toros. It held only 3,000 people and because this was insufficient, it was decided to build a new plaza de toros.