SATURDAYS 08:30 - 16:30

0. Cordoba, a city that lives and breathes bullfighting

Information about the bullfighting sites in the City of Cordoba and its surrounding area (cattle ranches, bullrings, La Corredera, monuments, gathering places, specialist stores, circuits and routes that have been prepared such as the Manolete route), where the visitor will find vivid traces of Cordoba’s bullfighting history in the city’s interweaving streets. In the first room of the museum, on the ground floor and next to the reception area, cloakroom lockers and shop, there is a backlit panel with this information, which can be accessed on an interactive screen.

1. The bull, bullfighting and bullfighting culture

The bull and the man, aesthetics and symbolism

- A challenge
- Nature (bull) vs. culture (bullfighter)
- Similar values
- Bullfighting costumes
- The colours
- Bullfighting ethics

This is a highly expressive audiovisual show with a strong visual impact due to its images, from the past and present, which show the visual impact of the confrontation between the man and the bull. It is designed as an introduction and a way of preparing the visitor for what they will see next.

2. The landscape of the bull

- From the aurochs to the fighting bull: the early cattle ranches (18th century)
- The fierceness of the fighting bull: Iberian characteristics / Physique and temperament: the test
- The pasture: the fighting bull’s environment
- The map of fighting bulls in Spain
- Cordoban cattle ranchers

We are now on the first floor; the room allows us to present the bull’s landscapes, their physical characteristics, and the cattle ranch. We can project an image of a pasture and the objects associated with stockbreeding, thus completing this important vision of nature. The various examples of bulls’ heads which the Museum owns, selected for their historical importance, will occupy a prominent place and there will be highly valuable prints and lithographs.

3. Five caliphs, five universes

The bullfighter: man and symbol

- El Lagartijo
- Guerrita
- Machaquito
- Manolete
- El Cordobés
- Cañero

This room is dedicated to paying tribute to those bullfighters who have made bullfighting Cordoba especially great. Five pedestals, plus one for the famous mounted bullfighter, will be used to display their costumes and some of the pieces that are personally associated with each of them, carefully selected from the many present in the Museum. It is a magical space, with overhead lighting and background sound that offer respect and recognition; each of the pedestals will have a small monitor on which we will see images of the bullfighters (sometimes posters, photographs and even videos on others).

4. The bullfight: liturgy and bullfighting

- The bullring, the stage
- The liturgy
- Different figures and their roles
- Objects: arts and symbols
- The crowd and the fans

This is one of the most expressive sections of the exhibition. Here we will discover the ins and outs of the world of bullfighting, the roles associated with it, the bullfight as an event with rules, with its own tempo and aesthetics. For that purpose another audiovisual show will be presented, arranged in a circle as if we were in the middle of the bullring, which will enable us to penetrate into the essence of bullfighting; the crowd, the band, the president, the authorities. And we will take part in the various steps involved in the bullfight; it will be an initiation day, among the cheers from the crowd, pasodobles and bugle calls – we will feel like we are really in the midst of “la fiesta”. A nod to those unfamiliar with the splendid world of bullfighting, like children, tourists from other parts or occasional fans.

They will then visit the room which pays tribute to the Cordoban dynasties of bullfighters’ assistants (subalternos and picadors), an area devoted to history’s other great Cordoban bullfighters and a chart explaining the Manolete Municipal Bullfighting Trophy, before proceeding to the next room.

5. A long history: Cordoba and bullfighting

- The tradition of bullfighting festivals: from Qurtuba to knightly entertainment
- From being banned to being a popular celebration
- The bullrings: to the rhythm of the history of the city
- Away from the bullring: fairs, gatherings, cultural activities
- Press, Schools and University
- From Cordoba to America

We have designed this room to highlight the intimate relationship between Cordoba and bullfighting, a very close relationship that goes back centuries. We will reveal the different places that have been used for bullfighting, a model of the current bullring that will show its history, and other items that will make it possible to understand the importance of the bullfighting culture in the City. The history of bullfighting journalism in Cordoba, the importance of the bullfighting culture in our University and the work of the bullfighting school. There is also a unique area that reflects the unquestionable influence that Cordoban bullfighting has had in America.

6. The bullfighting culture: artistic inspiration

Back on the ground floor, we will use a room to display the Museum’s collection of art pieces inspired by the world of bullfighting, where it will become clear that the theme of bullfighting has inspired great works in the different plastic arts: painting, sculpture, goldsmithing, pottery, etc. With paintings by Julio Romero de Torres, Pellicer and sculptures by Benlliure, Juan Polo, among others.

7. Temporary exhibitions room

The abundance of pieces that make up the Museum’s collections, which cannot all be displayed permanently, makes it necessary to provide this space for temporary exhibitions with common themes that will make it possible to offer the visitor the Museum’s various collections, thus ensuring that it is a living institution which is continuously updated.

8. Multimedia library

- Bullfighting cinema
- The bullfighting map: bullfighting across the world
- The music (bands, copla, pasodoble, zarzuela, cupé, modern styles – Sabina or Gabinete Caligary...)
- Bulls and literature
- Sacred rites associated with bulls
- Bullfighting language
- Bullfighting culture: painting
- The fans (associations, clubs, bullfighting circles, festivals, radio programmes, gatherings, blogs and websites...)
- Bullfighting culture and design
- Bullfighting culture and festivals

A database of images will bring together all of the iconography around bullfighting, from the series by Goya and Picasso to cinema and design. This database is kept in the museum’s restricted area – intended for researchers - but it will be possible for visitors to view a summary of it on one of the self-service terminals that will be provided on the top floor of the courtyard gallery.

9. Hemeroteca

Finally, a facility that is not open to the general public, reserved for researchers, but undoubtedly offering the Museum added value, is the newspaper library. It has extensive documentation that has been archived over the years, further enhanced by individual contributions which will soon be joined by the donated collection of work by the renowned Cordoban bullfighting journalist, José Luis de Córdoba.

All of this makes up a new Museum that combines the use of information technologies and communication with presenting the collection, thus making it possible, during a visit of approximately 45 minutes, to have an up-to-date picture of Cordoba’s presence in the history of bullfighting. A vision that will penetrate the mind, but above all the senses, taking advantage of the strong capacity for communication afforded by the expressiveness of the show.