Many people from Cadiz will remember what happened in November 2009during the filming in the streets of our city of the film ‘Night and day’, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Some steers that had to run down Calle Ancha, simulating a running of the bulls, decided to turn around on Calle Barrié and start a race around the Market and some other streets to reach the Campo de las Balas, where they could be controlled. In his career the steers gave several scaresa woman was run over and another suffered an anxiety crisis.
But regardless of this extraordinary event, the truth is that the presence of loose cattle in the streets of Cadiz has been relatively frequent, if we take into account that the Slaughter House It was for many years located next to the Royal Prison and very close to the Puertas de Tierra. The cattle had to travel a long way to the slaughterhouse and it was not uncommon for incidents to occur that caused dangerous situations and, on occasions, somewhat humorous.
The cattle for the supply of Cádiz largely came from the dehesas of the province and was taken to some land owned by the Cadiz City Council located in Puerto Real (Sale de Afuera) or San Fernando (Alcudia). From there, the cattle were taken to Cádiz, entering through the beaches of Cortadura and La Victoria, Carretera del Blanco and, after crossing the Puertas de Tierra, to the slaughterhouse. In those years, the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, the love of bullfighting was excessive and all the boys aspired to be famous fighters. In this way, the cattle that marched towards the Slaughterhouse were continuously assaulted to see if any cow or steer charged and gave occasion to one of the boys to demonstrate their bullfighting skills. But it also happened that some animal, faced with the harassment of the aspiring bullfighters, ignored the cowboys and took a different course from the herd, causing accidents and scares among the peaceful population.
This is what happened, for example, in March 1905, when a group of cows was assaulted by fans on the Carretera del Blanco, where the rear of the San Felipe Neri school is located today. Cows and steers, being separated from the herd, They undertook a fast race, scattering around the outskirts. Throughout the day they were loose in the area and there were many scares and races between the peaceful neighbors. The intervention of the cowboys and the municipal guards ensured that at the end of the day all the steers remained inside the slaughterhouse.
A month later the intervention of the aspiring bullfighters took place in Cortadura. this time a steer of considerable size turned around and started a fast race entering the Ventorrillo del Chato, with the consequent scare for those who were there. The authority, to avoid these excesses, commissioned the Civil Guard to monitor the transport of cattle.
Cattle destined for the slaughterhouse also arrived in Cádiz through Seaway. Until well into the 20th century, it was much easier and faster to bring goods from Tangier and other towns in North Africa than from most of the towns in the province. the steam Mogador weekly he made several round trips to Tangier driving vegetables, eggs and cattle for our population.
On the dock of our city and with some boards, a small fence for the cattle was improvised. Waiters and cowboys from the Casa Matadero were later in charge of driving the cattle, along the Cuesta de las Calesas, to the Matadero. The stay on the wharf of cows and steers inevitably caused the presence of boys eager to demonstrate their bullfighting courage.
in jjuly 1900 the steam Mogador landing four steers that had very little of tame. As soon as they were harassed, the bugs broke through the flimsy fence boards they were standing on and stampeded out. Two of them went into the water. Another undertook a fast race along the pier reaching the La Flor Marina and La Marina establishments, turning that, as Diario de Cádiz describes, into “a field of panic and desolation”. The peaceful patrons ran away and the steer swept away everything in its reach.
The last of the animals crossed the Puerta del Mar and entered the Plaza de San Juan de Dios, causing the logical panic of all the neighbors. Then he got to the street ballwhere it passed a solemn burial, headed by the Parish Cross and the insignia of various brotherhoods. This newspaper reports that everyone stampeded, including relatives and friends of the deceased and some other authority that was also attending the funeral, “being forced to leave the coffin to be safe.” Despite the flight, three people were injured by the animal, which could finally be linked in the Plaza de la Catedral.
A few years later another similar event occurred, when a steerharassed by youngsters on the wharf, he fled and entered the Palace of the Diputacióncausing the officials to have to lock themselves in their offices until the cowboys were able to subdue the steer and drive it back to the dock.
In reporting on these events, Diario de Cádiz called for the presence of the Civil Guard on the docks to put a little order and prevent an unfortunate tragedy from occurring one day.