Shepherds herded thousands of sheep through Madrid yesterday to migrate their livestock to winter grazing land in the south of Spain.

Exercising their right to use traditional migration routes to move their flocks to warmer grazing grounds for the European winter, shepherds lead 2.000 sheep through Madrid's Alcala Street passing by the famous landmark Cibeles Fountain and giving the chance to watch an unusual picture of the city.

Some animals tasted Madrid´s "gastronomy" by nibbling at hedges and plants on street corners along the way.

Madrid used to be a rural hamlet and for over 800 years farmers have been driving their animals along a route that now lies through the capital city.

Many onlookers were delighted to have the chance to take a close look to the animals and use the opportunity to take photos with their children.

The farmers called the annual migrations "La Transhumancia" and they are intent on maintaining their ancient grazing and driving rights, which are being threatened by urban sprawl.

This year farmers from Aragon in northeastern Spain moved their cattle to Ciudad Real 200 km in the South of Madrid.

Across the country farmers have the right to use 78,000 miles (125,500 km) of tracks for their annual migrations along which they still move around a million animals a year.

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