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In 1859, the town of Béziers organised its very first bullfighting event at the Champ-de-Mars. In 1877, removable arenas were installed on avenue Foch, followed by two wooden amphitheatres that could hold 5000 people. But in 1896, one of them fell victim to arson.

The Mayor Alphonse Mas then decided to build a permanent arena. He hired the Montpellier architect Carlier to build the arena.

Work began in January 1897, but the site was not yet finished when the very first bullfight was held on 17 June of the same year, nor when the first temporada (bullfighting season) was launched on 11 July.

In order to complete the construction, the wealthy patron Fernand Castelbon de Beauxhostes made up a large part of the financial deficit. A great lover of lyrical art, he obtained in exchange the exploitation of the bullring for his own account, in parallel with the organisation of bullfighting shows*. With the help of his friend, the composer Camille Saint-Saëns, Castelbon created a renowned lyrical art festival in the arena, where the greatest artists of the time came to perform, earning the town the nickname of "French Bayreuth".


Dernière mise à jour de la page : 04 août 2022

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