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Sheep take over Madrid’s streets as they head for winter pastures

On Sunday (23 October), sheep replaced cars in Madrid as shepherds walked their flocks through Madrid to reach southerly pastures for winter grazing. They were following old herding routes.

Tourists and locals lined the route to watch the thousands of sheep walk through the city. The bells around their necks provided a loud soundtrack.

After the Spanish parliament recognized the traditional routes that shepherds used to raise their animals, the annual event was revived as part of Madrid’s Fiesta de la Trashumancia in 1994.The route used to take them through peaceful countryside a few centuries back, but it now takes them through some of the most bustling areas of Madrid, such as the Plaza Mayor.

While others took photos and videos with their smartphones, some children tried to stroke the sheep with their tentative hands.


The sight was surprising to many people in a city that is usually jammed with traffic.

“It was amazing that there were so many sheep, I’ve never seen anything similar. It was a great way of learning about Spanish history, Spanish culture,” Maria Kouriabalis (a 22-year-old American) said.


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