“Noblesse oblige, and, more precisely, it obliges us to be generous towards those who most need it, to bend over backwards to help others, to demonstrate a vocation for service, and loyalty without limits or second thoughts. The kind of nobility which, today, is a far cry from its erstwhile privileges, and which seeks no rewards other than those provided by its altruistic devotion to duty and its firm interest in serving the Crown and the Homeland.”.
Excerpt from a speech given by H.M. the King Juan Carlos I on the occasion of the Assembly of the Reales Maestranzas held in Seville on 25 March, 2010.
The Nobility is a social stratum which is reached either by royal appointment or by hereditary right, and which in Spain had its origin in the Reconquest, the historical period which commenced at the beginning of the VIIIth century. The monarchs relied on the support of their vassals to defend their territories, and in return granted them privileges and prerogatives, in other words, they ennobled them.
In the city of Seville, the descendants of the nobles who accompanied King San Fernando established themselves as a Corps of noblemen dedicated to San Hermenegildo. Following a decline in their activities, and through a royal initiative, the Real Maestranza emerged at a time when the help of the nobility was again needed to take an active part in the defence of the Fatherland, supplying people and equipment, training young men in the arts of horsemanship and of war, or raising good horses which, as King Felipe II himself would say, were useful in the guardianship and defence of the Kingdom.
Throughout its history the Real Maestranza has reconciled modernity with tradition, completing important material projects such as the re-structuring and adaptation of the bullring, a structure which it owns, and has recognized merit and excellence in studies, research and the art of bullfighting by means of university prizes for the best academic results, and the bullfighting trophies presented each year to the season’s winners.
Its editorial work, its support for the bullfighting festival and for equestrian sport, and the help which it gives to those most in need, have made it one of the most highly-valued institutions of the nobility.
Book of the Illustrious Maestranza. 1725.