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© Maite Hernández

  • © Maite Hernández

    © Maite Hernández

  • © Maite Hernández

    © Maite Hernández

The apartado

The “Apartado” – this is where some of the personalities and well-known people who visit Pamplona for the fiestas, like to be seen. This is where the “draw” for the bulls is made and allocated to the three different bullfighters who will fight in the same afternoon.

But perhaps the most important thing is to see and be seen as it is really more of a social affair than anything else. It is necessary to pay for a ticket to enter this section of the bullring. One o´clock in the afternoon is an incredibly early hour of the day if you have been on the town all night. And this is one of the most inconvenient things about the visit to the enclosure. This event takes place every day that there is a bullfight, which is to say, from the 6th to the 14th of July. If you are attacted to the atmosphere which surrounds the bullfighting world, it could be worth your while to make the effort to check out this daily event, even if you have had a long night of it.

To be admitted to the enclosure, you need to buy a ticket (7,50 €) at one of the box-offices round the stadium between 10 o´clock and 1 o´clock each day from the 5th onwards. You go through an entrance of the ring which is usually reserved for the animals and keepers.

What is this?

Here, there is a kind of draw made to assign two bulls to each of the three bullfighters who will fight that same afternoon in the ring. At this point, the bulls who have been sharing a common corral since the morning run, are separated into their individual stalls. It´s a good opportunity for the real fans to size up the qualities and defects of each of the bulls. The numbers are placed in the hat of one of the stewards and drawn out for each bullfighter depending on a criteria of seniority, the oldest fighter being first. Then the bulls are put in their separate stalls.

The event attracts, not only the bullfighters, but also a lot of "important people", local politicans, personalities, etc. which makes it one of these social occasions for the "in" people. But, in fact, a lot of perfectly ordinary people go along just to have a look.

It might be of gastromonic interest for the foreign visitor to know that at the small bar, where one might like to sip a sherry or two, there is also a special snack available during these days of the Fiesta, which consists of the testicles of the bulls which have been killed in the previous afternoon´s fight. Delicious to the palate for some and a revulsion to to others!

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