Shepherds guide hundreds of sheep across Madrid

21 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Shepherds guide hundreds of sheep across Madrid

Shepherds guided a flock of around 2,000 sheep through the streets of Madrid on Sunday in defence of ancient grazing and migration rights increasingly threatened by urban sprawl, reports AFP.

Tourists and local residents lined the streets to watch as the bleating, bell-clanking parade passed the Spanish capital’s most emblematic locations, cutting traffic. The herd was accompanied by musicians and dancers dressed in regional costumes that have been worn by rural workers for centuries.

Shepherds halted at the town hall so the chief herdsman could hand local authorities 50 “maravedies”—copper coins first minted in the 11th century—as payment for the crossing.

Since medieval times, shepherds have had the right to use herding paths crisscrossing a landscape that was once woodland and grazing space.