The legend of Manolete has its origin in Linares. Thousands of bullfighting fans used to arrive to the railway stations to assist the bullfights that took place in one of the most important bullrings in the world, which celebrates its local fair in August in honour of St Augustine. Here, the cosmopolitan enthusiasts, eager to enjoy public entertainments in a city living the splendour of their lead and silver mines, acclaimed their idols: Joselito and Belmonte were standing on the arena for their great master duel. It was here where Manolete turned into the greatest bullfighting legend of all time. Known as “the Caliph of Córdoba”, he was fatally injured by Islero over the black sand of the mines on 28th August, 1947. More than 10,000 fans witnessed the tragedy caused by the Miura bull; a tragedy that affected the whole world. Since then, Manolete became a myth and left his footprint in Linares.
His bullring, Linarejos Esplanade –over which he was triumphantly carried out shoulder-high–; the railway stations to where his fans arrived; his favourite nooks, and the distance he walked towards the bullring every time he came are now tauromachy cultural heritage. So is the Marquises’ Hospital, which held the latest hours of the greatest bullfighter of all time and father of modern bullfighting.
Manolete died in Linares, but his legend is alive in its streets. It survives among its people and is revived every 28th of August with a moment of silence after the paseillo walked by all the great bullfighters. Long live Manolete!
The fighting bull achieves in Linares a dimension that goes beyond the main role that the local fair –centred around this figure– grants him. Its bullfighting tradition even reaches the breeding of the fighting bull in a completely natural environment. Visitors will have the chance to learn about livestock farming and bullfighting arts in a natural habitat –surrounded by Holm oaks, olive trees and mines, which were witnesses of the mining splendour of the city.
All the above offers an exciting experience with tourist proposals that you cannot miss. . Linares is a living history of bullfighting, thus we invite you to come and discover it!
1. El Pósito
The City Interpretation Centre shows the importance of bullfighting in Linares and the interconnection between the city’s own culture and its economy, marked by the mining and the industry.
The route begins in a spectacular room where unique experiences are felt, as the feeling of a bullfighter inside St Margarita’s arena being alone in front of the bull, while at the front row, spectators are waiting to witness great passes. A surprising souring audiovisual technology transmits unique feelings and it deepens inside the symbols of the bullfight and the ritual of the matador and the animal in the arena. Besides, the bullfighters’ great costumes as well as other elements full of symbolism for Bullfighting can be contemplated.
OPENING HOURS: Wednesday to Sunday. Winter: 10:00 – 14:00 and 17:00 – 19:00. Summer: 10:00 – 14:00 and 18:00 – 20:00
2. St Margarita’s Bullring
St Margarita’s bullring is built beside the boulevard left as bequest by the Marquises of Linares to their city. The bullring of Linares is one of the greatest and most historic ones in the world. It was built with a capacity of 10,000 spectators although the latest remodelling reduced that number to 8,500 seats. The bullring was unveiled on 7th July, 1867, with a bullfight with the presence of the bullfighters Antonio Carmona, ”El Gordito”, and Manuel Carmona, “Panadero” with Miura fighting bulls. It has also a spectacular courtyard for horses and a beautiful chapel with images which remind that fateful afternoon.
A photography of Manolete is exhibited on its altar. The legend began in section 1 and in its nursing room. Its spectacular bullring and its beautiful large gate give St Margarita’s arena a special prestige. Nowadays, it is a sanctuary for great bullfighting figures that stand on the same bullring as Manolete. Every 28th of August his chapel organises a mass where bullfighters honour Manolete and observe a respectful minute of silence before the beginning of the bullfight. Every cuadrilla (team of bullfighter’s assistants) comes out to the bullring without the bullfighter’s hat in memory of Manolete.
OPENING HOURS: Ask at place
3. Marquises of Linares’ Hospital
It was in this hospital where the greatest bullfighter of all time deceased. Manolete entered St José and St Raimundo’s Hospital carried on a stretcher and left it as a great myth of bullfighting. Its staircase withstood hours of on-going uncertainty after the goring and its walls witnessed the last meeting with his beloved Lupe Sino. The Hospital has a room dedicated to Manolete and an ambiance which amazes by its singularity. Few people know that Manuel Rodriguez Sánchez visited the hospital three years before the event and it fascinated him. It was here where the most beautiful legend of bullfighting was born.
OPENING HOURS: Saturdays and Sundays / Winter: 10:00-14:00 and 17:00-19:00 / Summer: 10:00-14:00 and 18.:00-20:00
4. “El Lagartijo” Tavern-Museum
This tavern, one of the most beautiful ones in the world, is a living history of bullfighting. Its walls display hundreds of photographs and posters, some of the most notorious bulls’ heads, some bullfighters’ costumes and other fetishes of bullfighting, which make an overview of the most celebrated matadors of all time.
In “El Lagartijo” you can find some of Manolete’s clothes and some of his most exclusive photographs. Several great bullfighting personalities have wanted to be part of this tavern-museum with significant contributions, which are exposed at this special location and where every detail is taken into account.
OPENING HOURS: Ask at place
CONTACT: Ventanas, 17 | tf. (+34) 620 51 92 93
5. “The Marchioness” Villa
This villa houses several squares made from stone which have been preserved due to their immense value. It is here where Joselito, Belmonte and Manolete practiced for the bullfighting day. Besides, it offers the opportunity to enjoy different routes to visit the bulls, which take part in the greatest Spanish and southern French bullfights, and to be in direct contact with them. It also offers horse rides and it gives the visitors the opportunity to participate in the faenas with the bulls. It is a typical Andalusian villa from the 18th century with high valuable buildings which now serve as rural accommodation. It also contains a great lounge for events and celebrations, and a church.
OPENING HOURS: Ask at place