Rooster of Barcelos


Studying Time: 5 minutes

Perched on a plateau overlooking the River Cavado, in northern Portugal, is the charming medieval city of Barcelos. That is the Minho area of the nation, identified for its stunning inexperienced hills, dense forests, meandering valleys, thriving vineyards, and picturesque villages.   

Barcelos is dwelling to the biggest open-air market within the nation and one of many greatest in Europe. Each Thursday, folks flock to Campo da Republica, an immense tree-lined public sq. in the midst of city to benefit from the day at Feira de Barcelos. Colourful tents dot the panorama with festive shows of regional meals and merchandise, farm-fresh produce, flowers, eggs, stay chickens, handicrafts, pottery, embroidery, and linens.   

The market manages to retain its rural roots regardless of its reputation with vacationers and townsfolk from different components of the nation and past. Thursdays in Barcelos are a weekly custom — a time to replenish on every part from sausages to farm tools. 

Taking middle stage all through the market is a colourful character often known as the Galo de Barcelos (Rooster of Barcelos). Some tables are stacked excessive with ceramic and steel statuettes in a wide range of sizes, whereas others show his picture on kitchen linens, placemats, espresso mugs, corkscrews, ceramic tiles, and a bunch of different home goods and souvenirs.  

Souvenirs within the city of Barcelos. Portuguese rooster (rooster of Barcelos) souvenirs are offered inside.

This joyful rooster with a vivid pink comb, adorned with hearts and flowers, is the unofficial image of Portugal, representing honesty, integrity, belief, and honor. He’s mentioned to be the embodiment of the Portuguese folks’s love of life.   

One would possibly marvel how a barnyard chook managed to seize the hearts of so many villagers in Barcelos, and the way widespread his likeness is all through the nation. All of it started with a folktale from way back within the 14th century. There are a lot of variations of the story of the Portuguese rooster that proceed to be embellished as time goes by. 

Conventional Portuguese rooster In a Christmas Decoration

The Legend of the Galo de Barcelos 

One night time within the village of Barcelos, a stranger lingered awhile at a neighborhood inn, hoping for a meal and a spot to sleep. He mentioned he was following the trail to Santiago de Compostela in Spain — the fruits of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. He was drained and hungry, hoping for a respite earlier than traipsing on the following morning. 

All of the sudden, phrase unfold {that a} useful piece of silver had been stolen throughout an elaborate banquet hosted by a rich property proprietor. A search started with males carrying torches, scouring the city for the offender who did this dastardly deed. All of the sudden, the lone stranger discovered himself accused of the crime, regardless of his pleas of innocence.   

Nobody believed the bearded man huddled within the darkness behind the inn; he was an apparent suspect and wanted to seem earlier than the decide who occurred to be a visitor on the banquet. Quickly, with none dialogue, it was declared the stranger was responsible. and sentenced to loss of life by hanging. 

Hoping for a reprieve, the man cried out in desperation whereas pointing to a platter on the banquet desk with a roasted rooster surrounded by potatoes and carrots, “It’s as sure that I’m harmless as that rooster will crow once they dangle me.” 

The decide pushed apart his plate, declining to eat his meal, however in any other case ignored the stranger’s plea. Immediately, he ordered the sentence to be carried out, instructing his henchmen to proceed with the hanging. 

Simply because the rope was positioned across the stranger’s neck, the rooster sprang from the platter and crowed on the prime of his lungs. A bit bewildered and clearly conscious of his error, the decide ran to the gallows the place he found the person had been saved from loss of life, because of a poorly tied knot within the rope. He was instantly freed and despatched off on his pilgrimage in peace. 

Years later, because the story unfolds, the person returned to Barcelos to sculpt the Calvary (Crucifix) to the Lord of the Rooster (Cruzeiro do Senhor do Galo) — a tribute to indicate his gratitude for his feathered good friend. A stone sculpture nonetheless stands right this moment in Barcelos on the open-air Archaeological Museum (Museu Arqueológico) that was constructed over the ruins of what was as soon as the Palace of the Counts of Barcelos. 

A curious observe — if this actually is only a fable, who carved the crucifix with a rooster holding up a person on the cross? Evidently, somebody within the village was impressed and compelled to chisel the likeness in stone. It appears the tall and slim obelisk originated from Barcelinhos, one of many 60 parishes on the town, the place it was moved to the palace within the 18th century as a tribute to the Portuguese rooster and the stranger.  

All Round City 

Souvenirs and a sacred stone aren’t the one photographs of the well-known rooster in Barcelos. There are vibrantly painted murals on retaining partitions and buildings in each neighborhood, and large statues stand tall in parks and on road corners. The Museu de Olaria (Museum of Pottery) is showcasing a particular exhibit, by December 2021 of the joyful rooster with 9,000 items of artwork on show. It’s apparent the Galo do Barcelos is a outstanding member of the group, reminding everybody that hope and happiness are achievable.  

“It’s a delight how the rooster has introduced such notoriety to Barcelos,” says Goretti Medeiros, proprietor of Rooster Camisa, dwelling of Portuguese-inspired merchandise right here in the USA, “He’s positively a goodwill ambassador that brings a smile to everybody, whether or not visiting town or ordering one thing on-line” 

Goretti Medeiros

From an early age, Goretti grew up with enthusiasm for all issues Portuguese. Her dad and mom immigrated to California from the Azores, an archipelago of scenic islands west of mainland Portugal within the Atlantic Ocean. She speaks the language fluently and enjoys visiting her adopted nation steadily. 

 In July 2019, Goretti felt like a child within the sweet retailer when she was invited to tour one of many licensed factories in Barcelos that produce the rooster statues. The creation of the collectible figurines is handed down from technology to technology — a proud artwork kind that’s taught with nice care and pleasure. Think about her shock when launched to one of many grasp painters on the manufacturing facility, getting to sit down by her aspect to color whimsical pink hearts on one of many statues. There’s a really informative video and extra details about Goretti’s manufacturing facility tour on her weblog on the firm web site:    

Lengthy stay the Galo de Barcelos! He reminds us to maintain smiling and do not forget that when one rises above the storm, there can be sunshine! 

Initially printed within the December 2020/January 2021 subject of Yard Poultry and recurrently vetted for accuracy.


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