Campo Pequeno - A monumental Moorish-style bullring

Posted on August 16, 2010 by UNITED PHOTO PRESS

The Campo Pequeno bullring (Portuguese: Praça de Touros do Campo Pequeno, lit. "Small Field") is the bull ring of Lisbon, Portugal. It is located in the Campo Pequeno Square, by the Avenida da República. After a profound renovation, it re-opened as a multi-event venue in 2006, designed to be used for various events apart from bull fighting. It hosts a range of live acts and has seen many famous bands perform there. It includes an underground shopping centre, restaurants and a parking lot.


History

Lisbon's bullring was built between 1890 and 1892 under the project of Portuguese architect António José Dias da Silva. His design was inspired by the bullring of Madrid, by Emilio Rodriguez Ayuso, later demolished. The style is the neo-Mudéjar, a Romantic style inspired by the old Arab architecture from Iberia. Lisbon's new bull ring replaced an old one, located in the Campo de Santana.

Aerial view after 2006 renovation.The bull ring has a circular floorplan with four large octagonal towers on each cardinal point with oriental-looking domes. The Western tower is flanked by two turrets and serves as main entrance. The many windows of the building have a typical horseshoe shape. The entire surface of the building is covered by bricks of orange colour. The inner arena has 80 metres of diameter and is covered with sand. The seats hold almost 10,000 people.


It was loosely based on the Madrid bullring of Las Ventas, and bullfights take place here on Thursdays in season. During the rest of the year it is occasionally used for concerts and other shows, such as a circus.

After being closed for many years for extensive renovation, it reopened in 2006 with a new retractable ceiling and a shopping mall, restaurants, cinemas, and a supermarket. Parking space for 1200 cars is also available.

Photography Luis Oliveira