Monument to Doctor Fleming – Madrid, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Monument to Doctor Fleming

Dr. Fleming's work saved the lives of many bullfighters thanks to his discovery of penicillin. 


This monument dedicated to Dr. Alexander Fleming was inaugurated in 1964, next to the Madrid bullring as a tribute to the inventor of penicillin and as a token of gratitude from local bullfighters. 

The discovery of penicillin in 1928, at St. Mary’s Hospital, London, revolutionized medicine by introducing the world to the first antibiotic. Its significance extended beyond the treatment of infections; it fundamentally changed the landscape of healthcare. In the context of injured bullfighters, penicillin’s impact was profound.

Before its discovery, injuries sustained by bullfighters were perilous due to the high risk of infection from wounds, often leading to severe complications and fatalities. Penicillin’s introduction provided a potent weapon against these infections and drastically reduced the mortality rates among the injured.

The antibiotic’s ability to combat various bacterial infections, including those arising from wounds, transformed the medical approach to injuries. It allowed bullfighters and others with serious wounds to recover more effectively by preventing or treating infections that would have previously been life-threatening.

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January 9, 2024

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