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The Campo Pequeno stadium is the official home of Portuguese bullfighting and during the summer season visitors are able to watch the spectacle of Portuguese bullfighting. Outside of the bullfight nights the Campo Pequeno bullring is a tourist attraction in its own right.
The Campo Pequeno in Lisbon
The structure is a wonderfully elaborate complex that is strongly influenced by traditional North Africa design. The large orange brick structured is completely unique to Lisbon, with imposing octagonal towers topped by domes and two turrets forming the main entrance. Beneath the stadium is a large shopping centre and the entire site is a highly recommended tourist attraction of Lisbon.
The Portuguese bullfighting season last from Easter until late summer but there are not fights every week. On weeks when there are events they are always on Thursday nights and starting at 20:00. The best method to determine if there is bullfighting during your staying in Portugal is to visit the ticket office at Campo Pequeno as tickets rarely sell-out.
Internet resources include, http://www.ticketline.pt/ a good Portuguese ticket booking site and http://www.campopequeno.com/ the official website but it is purely in Portuguese. Tickets vary in price from €15 to €50. During the long off-season the stadium is transformed into a 10,000 seat live music or performance venue that boasts a spectacular setting. Travel to the Campo Pequeno Bullring is easy as the site is served by the yellow metro line and the Campo Pequeno metro station.
Portuguese bullfighting is less violent and has more respect for the animal than Spanish bullfighting. In Portuguese bullfights the bull is enraged but not put down at the end of the show, animal lovers still may detest the sport but the Portuguese version is significantly less distressing to the animal than the Spanish version.
This historic difference in the varying styles originates from the king of Portugal who himself deemed it to be unpleasant to the animal and banned the killing of the bull during the show. The Portuguese word for bullfight is tourada.
The Campo Pequeno bullring originates from 1890 and was constructed to replace the older stadium at Campo de Santana. The architect was Antonio José Dias da Silva who was heavily influenced by the Moorish North African design and styling. The design was partially inspired by the bullring of Madrid but this stadium no long exists. The whole project was completed in 2 years.
The Campo Pequeno bull ring underwent extensive modernisation and re-opened in 2006, this included carving out the grounds below the bull ring and constructing a large, modern shopping centre. The spectator’s area was also enhanced and now provides space for 10,000 patrons to be seated during performances. The most significant alteration was the introduction of a removable roof that makes the area space more versatile and can be used all year round and for any purpose including touring performers and music acts.
Lisbon's bullring is located north of the historic central area of Baixa in a district named Campo Pequeno which translate to small field. Further along the Avenue de Republica is Campo Grande meaning large field, the Portuguese are very original with their naming of districts!