Barcelos Portuguese Way

Information about Barcelos

Barcelos is a city belonging to the district of Braga in the northern region of Portugal. Undoubtedly, the most characteristic feature of the city is the colourful rooster of Barcelos, nowadays considered one of the most representative symbols and icons of the whole country.

This city has its roots in the ancient Roman foundation. After growing and expanding in the heat of the development of medieval times, it became the seat of the first Duke of Bragança in the 15th century. Unfortunately, the palace built by the Dukes of Bragança was destroyed in a fire, so today its remains can be visited as an open-air museum.

What to see and do in Barcelos

The legend of the Rooster

Surely you have ever wondered why the rooster is the symbol of Portugal. It has its origin in the city of Barcelos and in a curious legend.

It is said that a pilgrim passing through the city was accused of having stolen money from a landowner, for which he was condemned to be hanged. As a last request, he asked to be brought before the judge, who was eating a roast rooster. The pilgrim said that, as proof of his innocence, he would get up and start singing. The judge pushed the plate aside and ignored the man’s words. However, just as the prisoner was being hanged, the rooster stood up and crowed. The judge, having realized his mistake, ran to the gallows and discovered that the pilgrim had been saved by a badly tied knot.

According to legend, the pilgrim returned years later to sculpt the cross of the Lord of the Rooster, which is now in the Archaeological Museum of Barcelos.