Ronda – Feria de Pedro Romero 2014

The fabulous Pedro Romero Feria (fair) is one of Ronda´s most important events.

In September 2010, the Corrida Goyesca (Bullfight) and the Royal Maestranza celebrated the 225th anniversary of the construction of Ronda´s magnificent Plaza de Toros (Bullring). The bullring is said to be one of the oldest bullrings in Spain and designed by José Martín de Aldehuela the Spanish architect from Aragon who designed the impressive Puente Nuevo Bridge (New Bridge) which spans the spectacular El Tajo gorge.

Every year a poster for the Feria is designed and chosen from a selection presented by artists throughout Spain. Last year the poster chosen for the event was designed by Din Matamoro, a Vigo, artist whose artistic style is frequently described as minimalistic.

The Goyesca Ladies are the official representatives and welcoming party for visiting guests. Every year fourteen Rondeñas (Ronda ladies) and one president are chosen and given the honour to represent Ronda in this important event. The gowns worn by the ladies are quite stunning and said to be similar to those from the period depicted in the paintings of Francisco de Goya’s bullfighting and pageantry from the late 18th century. The styles of the gowns have evolved over time and are now more intricate. The dresses worn by the Ladies are very costly and everything is made to measure to suit the wearer with matching accessories, shoes, fans and shawls. The Goyescas have more than one gown as their duties include attending formal events and official presentations and more informal duties such as visiting rest homes for the elderly. It is a great honour to be chosen as a Goyesca Lady and the ladies concerned take their duties very seriously and are a credit to the city. In 2009 a magnificent bronze statue of a Goyesca Lady was inaugurated in the Alameda Park. The full programme of events which lead up to the Goyesca can be obtained from the Tourist Office opposite the Bullring and at the Casa de Cultura near the Merced Church located just above the entrance to the Alameda Park.

The Pedro Romero Feria was originally founded by Cayetano Ordóñez, born January 24, 1904 in Ronda. His parents owned a shoe shop called La Palma and this became his nickname (Niño de la Palmas). He made his debut in the Ronda Bullring in 1923, where he became the first bullfighter to be carried in triumph through the main gates of the Maestranza. The Goyesca Feria was sealed into Ronda tradition by his son Antonio Ordoñez (1932-1998) known as ‘el maestro’. Ordoñez was a close friend of Hollywood movie star Orson Welles whose ashes were buried on Ordóñez’s estate after Welles’ death. Cayetano Ordóñez was used by US writer Ernest Hemingway as the model for “Pedro Romero”, the talented young bullfighter in ’The Sun Also Rises’. Pedro Romero who hailed from another famous Ronda bullfighting family was the first bullfighter to view his job as an art form rather than just a display of courage.The Romero statue is one of the most photographed statues in Spain and is to be found standing proudly outside the Ronda bullring.

The corrida (bullfight) is customarily held the first week of September on 3rd, 4th and 5th days. The most important bullfighters (matadors) take part in the Corrida. The bullfighters have a huge following by fans and are treated as VIP´s everywhere they go. Crowds wait for hours to catch a glimpse of them arrive in horse-drawn carriages at the Plaza de Toros. The Goyesca Feria is considered to be one of the primer events in Ronda and Andalucia, and one of the most important exhibitions of bullfighting in Spain.

For those who do not wish to see the bullfights the Horse and Carriage competition (Las Enganches) held on a Sunday is a must. The Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda and the Real Club de Enganches de Andalucía hold a competition to pick the best horse and carriage from several different categories. This is a superb exhibition of carriage driving skills with drivers and guests attired in period costumes and magnificent horses groomed to perfection with gleaming harnesses and pulling equally gleaming carriages. The Dames Goyesca grace the ring riding in carriages owned by local aficionados (enthusiasts) and you will have a further opportunity to admire them. The Horse and Carriage competition takes place in the bullring and starts at 12 noon and the parade of carriages commences at 10.30am in the Calle Virgen de La Paz. Tickets can be bought from the kiosks at the ring but get there early! It is very popular and well worth seeing.

On 1st September every year the streets of Ronda become filled people all enjoying the colours, the music, the atmosphere and the beauty of the Ronda Feria. Have a wonderful Feria!

This is a super feria, one of the best in Spain and is highly recommended. If you have a chance to come to Ronda during this period don’t miss it!