Happy birthday to Spain’s iconic Osborne bulls as they turn 65 years old

Happy birthday to Spain's iconic Osborne bulls as they turn 65 years old. Image Botond Horvath/Shutterstock.com

THIS year celebrates 65 years of the iconic Osborne bulls that stand on the hilltops of Spain.

Originally the Osborne bull was used to advertise for the drinks company. The original image was smaller and slightly different in design.

The current larger image was created to comply with a law that prohibited advertising within 150 metres of a road.

The bull was designed by Manolo Prieto in 1956. In 1997 the Spanish government put a protection order on the bull which is now seen as a national symbol of Spain.

Dotted across Spain you will find 90 bulls that have inspired the film industry through the decades.

In 1994 a law that prohibited all roadside advertising of alcoholic beverages came into effect and the bulls were set to be removed.

But, by this time, the signs were nationally renowned and the public response resulted in the signs being retained on the condition that all references to the original advertisers were removed.

The Court eventually allowed the signs to remain on the grounds that they have become a part of the landscape and had “aesthetic or cultural significance”, which turned the bulls into public domain images.

Today, from the over 500 original Osborne bulls, 91 remain. The largest proportion (23 in total) is located in Andalusia, while Castilla y Leon has 14 and Valencia has 11.


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Written by

Anna Ellis

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