Rooster of Barcelos (Portuguese, "Galo de Barcelos") is one of the
most common emblems of Portugal.
3 External links
Rooster of Barcelos is sold as a common souvenir from Portugal.
The legend of the
Rooster of Barcelos tells the story of a dead
rooster's miraculous intervention in proving the innocence of a man
who had been falsely accused and sentenced to death. The story is
associated with the 17th-century calvary that is part of the
collection of the Archeological Museum located in Paço dos Condes, a
gothic-style palace in Barcelos, a city in the
Braga District of
According to the legend, silver had been stolen from a landowner in
Barcelos, and the inhabitants of that city were looking for the
criminal who had committed the crime. One day, a man from neighboring
Galicia turned up and became suspect, despite his pleas of innocence.
The Galician swore that he was merely passing through Barcelos on a
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela to complete a promise.
Nevertheless, the authorities arrested the Galician and condemned him
to hang. The man asked them to take him in front of the judge who had
condemned him. The authorities honored his request and took him to the
house of the magistrate, who was holding a banquet with some friends.
Affirming his innocence, the Galician pointed to a roasted cock on top
of the banquet table and exclaimed, "It is as certain that I am
innocent as it is certain that this rooster will crow when they hang
me." The judge pushed aside his plate because he decided to not eat
the rooster. But still, the judge ignored the Galician's appeal.
However, while the pilgrim was being hanged, the roasted rooster stood
up on the table and crowed as the Galician predicted. Understanding
his error, the judge ran to the gallows, only to discover that the
Galician had been saved from hanging thanks to a poorly made knot in
the rope. The man was immediately freed and sent off in peace.
Some years later, the Galician returned to Barcelos to sculpt the
Calvary (or Crucifix) to the Lord of the
"Cruzeiro do Senhor do Galo") in praise to the Virgin Mary and to
Saint James. The monument is located in the Archaeological Museum of
In all cases, the legend of the
Rooster of Barcelos revolves around a
dead rooster that crows to prove an accused man's innocence. However,
there are variations to the story. The following are some of the
The pilgrim is a guest whom the landowner invited to his banquet,
where the silver is stolen.
The pilgrim stays at a local inn, and it is the greedy owner of the
inn who falsely accuses the pilgrim of the crime.
There are two pilgrims, a father and his son. The son is accused, and
the father pleads his innocence by calling on the rooster to crow.
The rooster crows as soon as the accused man declares it will, so the
man is never taken to the gallows.
The accused is not identified as being from Galicia.
^ Lenda do Galo de Barcelos (Portuguese)
^ Lenda do Galo de Barcelos (Portuguese) Archived October 6, 2010, at
the Wayback Machine.
^ O Senhor do Galo de Barcelos e o Milagre do Enforcado (Portuguese),
Infopédia (online). Porto: Porto Editora, 2003-2011. Retrieved on
2011 February 07.
Galo de Barcelos Video, by Daniel Oliveira Prins
The legend of the
Rooster of Barcelos at the Barcelos City Hall's