640 Years of Unity: Honoring Europe's Oldest Peace Treaty (Video)
In a remote part of the Pyrenean foothills, where Spain borders France, a centuries-old ceremony commemorates a treaty that is believed to be one of Europe's oldest international agreements still in force. This remarkable tradition originated between the villages of Llívia, a Spanish enclave, and Bourg-Madame, a neighboring French town. The treaty, which historians estimate was ratified around 1375, emerged from a period of conflict between these two communities. Seeking to establish peace and ensure the stability of their shared border, the leaders of Llívia and Bourg-Madame forged an agreement that would lay the foundation for enduring relations between them.
The annual celebration, which involves the French giving 3 cows to the Spanish, has become a testament to the longstanding commitment to peaceful coexistence. It unites the residents of Llívia and Bourg-Madame in a symbolic gesture of harmony and friendship, transcending national boundaries. Throughout the centuries, this tradition has persisted, serving as a reminder of the power of diplomacy and cooperation.
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Top image: The celebration involves giving 3 cows to the Spanish. Source: U. J. Alexander / Adobe Stock.