Portuguese Legends – O Galo de Barcelos

The Portugal Years

Galo de Barcelos

If you visit Portugal, you will see multiple variations of these colorful roosters nearly everywhere that you go. One of the popular (but unofficial) Portuguese symbols, the story of the Cock of Barcelos goes  so far back in history, that it would be difficult to discover the exact origin. Some place it in the 16th century. There are several permutations of the story. This one features a Spaniard from Galicia, who had come to Portugal to make a pilgrimage to a shrine. Given that any truce between Portugal and Spain at that time was, at best, an uneasy one I can imagine something like this happening.

A Spaniard from the province of Galícia, Spain, was making a pilgrimage to a Portuguese holy shrine. He stopped in the village of Barcelos to rest from his journey during the heat of the day.

That afternoon, a horrible crime was…

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