Galo de Barcelos… Or the Rooster of Barcelos to you and me


Maybe some of you have wondered about the cockerel often seen dotted around while on holiday here in Portugal.

Legend dating back to the 17th century has it that some silver had been stolen from a landowner in Barcelos (Northern Portugal). The town were keen to find the thief who took the goods but were having no luck until one day a traveller from nearby Galicia came to town and immediately became number one suspect. Despite his cries of innocence he was sentenced to death by hanging.

The traveller requested to see the judge who had condemned him, his wish was granted. The authorities took him to the judges house where he was entertaining his friends over a banquet, its centrepiece being a large roasted rooster. The traveller tried once again to profess his innocence but the judge was not in the least interested. 

It is as certain that I am innocent as it is certain that this rooster will crow when they hang me.” he cried to the judge

The judge lost interest in the banquet and didn’t touch the rooster. Still, he didn’t change his mind about the hanging.

The dreaded day came for the traveller. As he was about to meet his fate the roasted rooster stood up and crowed as the traveller had predicted. The judge realising what he had done raced to the gallows to find the traveler still alive. There had been a fault with the rope that had saved his life. The traveller was set free and left in peace.


So there we have it!

I hope you all enjoyed that little snippet. 



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