Madrid taken over by hundreds of sheep

(BBC) – Madrid’s streets were left baa-dly congested on Sunday, as more than 2,000 sheep passed through its bustling city centre for an annual event.

The Spanish capital sits on ancient migration route where shepherds would move their livestock south for the winter.

The event is known as Fiesta de la Trashumancia (transhumance festival) and is promoted by local tourist authorities.

The festival started in 1994 and is designed to pay homage to the area’s rural heritage.

It exploits a medieval rule which allows shepherds the right to cut through the city with their animals.

Every year, a nominal fee is paid in exchange for the safe passage of the animals, in a ceremony between the mayor and the chief herdsman at the city hall.

It honours a 1418 agreement with the city’s council where the price of 50 maravedís al millar (50 coins per thousand heads of livestock) was set for the animal traffic.