Medina del Campo emphasizes its numerous touristic resources using its patrimony and culture, both being very important to maintain its title of City of Fairs, its infrastructures and equipments, its already consolidated commercial offer, and on top of it its outstanding geographical position.
The bull runs tradition is celebrated periodically on the first days of September during the patronal and popular San Antolín’s festivals, the city patron. San Antolín is the reference of the city life, just like San Fermín in Pamplona.
This is reflected by the popular bull celebrations which historically marked Medina del Campo, from a social and architectonic point of view. For instance, there are the large balconies at the Plaza Mayor de la Hispanidad, which were built by the civil and ecclesiastical power of the locality. Another more recent example is the building (in the middle of the 20th century) of Coso del Arrabal on the Plaza de Toros, which has a capacity of about 10000 people. That is what it takes to permit the participants to have access to the last part of Medina del Campo’s bull runs. This place is also used for other bull events.
Medina del Campo’s bull runs are not-to-miss events in the cultural schedule of the city. In fact, tradition and participation joins their force into one of the most secure and respectful fiesta regarding bulls and horses, thanks to its regulations and security measures which are an example for many localities all around Spain.
We can now observe three aspects making the traditional bull runs of Medina del Campo very touristic fiestas, not only at the Autonomous level but also at a national level:
- The celebration’s originality: it presents the three traditional modalities of a bull run: on horseback in an open area, a walk throughout the city, and capeas and shows in bullrings.
- The popular tradition: the proof of its duration because it has existed since the 16th century, thanks to its periodical and annual celebration along with its capacity to attract participants in at least one of the three modalities, reaching an average of 20000 participants.
- The cultural value is reflected through the increasing number of peñas (fiestas areas), pandas (fiestas groups) and associations. In parallel, the city hall organizes events, activities and shows regarding the patron fiestas. Finally, the bull runs attract always more partners every year.
Within the cultural value, it is important to stress the gastronomy that is related to the bull runs: the tasting of the traditional garlic soup of Castile, the bollos de manteca y aceite (brioches made of butter and oil) which are typical in Medina del Campo, the aguardiente (liquor) that is served before the beginning of a bull event in the associations and pandas locales, but also in hotels, bars and cafeterias of the city.
The Monastery of Saint Joseph (San José) was founded in Medina del Campo, on August 15, 1567. It was the second house of the renewed Carmel and the meeting place with Saint John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz). Since then, Saint Teresa’s affectation for the city of Medina del Campo had remained strong throughout her lifetime, as proved by her thirteen visits in the city.
Besides, the traditional bull runs are the result of our history, and the proof is an anecdote that Teresa of Jesus wrote in her Book of foundations, relating her fear to found herself in front of the bulls even if they were already enclosed.