The running of the bulls
Start of the Bull Running.
The launch of a firecracker marks the release of the bulls from their enclosure. The ritual involves running in front of and behind a bull accompanied by a pack of four tame bullocks that will guide the passage of the bull to the bullpen of Plaza de Toros arena, where it will be fought in the traditional style. A route that extends over 555.35 metres and runs along the so-called “carril toro”, or bull lane, marked with red pavement, which passes through different fenced sections of streets in the urban area and historic centre of the City of Coria
Releasing corral: Calle Mártires (24,35 metres)
Since 1968, the old corral located on the street called Calle Mártires has been used to provide rest for the bull and the pack of tame bullocks that are released for the running. These spaces were remodelled between 2005 and 2014, mainly to provide better safety and accommodation to the organisation’s staff as well as the cattle gathered here for the running ritual during noon or early morning.
1st Section: Avenida Sierra de Gata (160 metres)
The first section of the bull running begins at the exit of the corral and goes through its extension by the Avenida Sierra de Gata, spanning 160 metres, whose wide and rectilinear course together with its slight descending slope (2%) make it one of the fastest sections to be covered. The runners have to be especially attentive to the attacks of the bull that bolts down the path to seek refuge in the metal fence.
2nd Section: Calle Encierro (145 metres)
The second section of the bull running goes through the emblematic street Calle Encierro, spanning 145 metres, whose curved and narrow passage makes this section a bit dangerous. It drives the alignment of the bull and the tame bullocks to the centre of the road, restricted by fences and sidewalks, causing runners to speed up before entering the walled enclosure.
3rd Section: Plaza de la Cava (27 metres)
El tercer tramo del recorrido del encierro se corresponde con la Plaza de la Cava (27 m.), cuyo trayecto se configura en uno de los más cortos y peligrosos tras el The third section of the bull running goes through the Plaza de la Cava, spanning 27 metres, whose course is one of the shortest and most dangerous after entering the walled enclosure of the Historic Centre through the Puerta de San Francisco, a place where the bull sometimes regroups with the pack of tame bullocks before taking a 90-degree turn to the right towards Rúa de los Paños.
4th Section: Rúa de los Paños (113 metres)
The fourth section of the bull running goes through the street called Rúa de los Paños, spanning 113 metres, whose narrow, descending (4%) and curved passage with a 90-degree turn to the left at the end of the street causes runners to get squeezed together. The bull and the tame bullocks are lined up in a group as they go down this route at different paces, intensifying the danger.
5th Section: Las Cuatro Calles (23 metres)
The fifth and last section of the bull running goes through the famous street Las Cuatro Calles, spanning 23 metres, whose restricted, narrow and ascending road (6%), that leads to the entrance of the Plaza de Toros arena, makes this point quite dangerous as runners are at risk of falling. The bull enters the arena surrounded by tame bullocks, as the bullfighters take their positions.
Bullpen of Plaza de Toros (63 metres)
The old “toril”, or bullpen, located at the back of the Royal Prison (Cárcel Real), as described in the records from the 16th and 19th centuries, was moved to this new site between the old Town Hall and the Church of St. James (Iglesia de Santiago) in 1919. This space was remodelled in 2003, after its centuries-old masonry walls were demolished, and provides shelter to the bull in its enclosures before the fight in the Historic Centre of Coria.
End of the Bull Running.
Once the bull is enclosed in the bullpen, after the pack of tame bullocks is returned to the original corral, the bull running comes to an end. Subsequently, a bell is sounded three times at different intervals to announce the bull’s exit to the bullring (63 metres) of the Plaza de España to be fought in the traditional style, before being released on the streets and squares of the walled Historic Centre of the City of Coria. An age-old bullfighting ritual with over 500 years of uninterrupted history, a festival officially declared a Tourist Attraction of Spain (Fiestas de Interés Turístico) and is celebrated every year between 23 June-29 June.