The tale of the Rooster

Barcelos' rooster

The Legend of the Rooster of Barcelos

The rooster of Barcelos, is a well-known symbol of Portugal. According to the legend, its origins are connected to the story of a man from Galicia who was arrested to calm down the population because of an unsolved murder and nobody believed that he was just a pilgrim passing by.

And so he was condemned to be hanged. But before the execution, he asked to be taken to the presence of the judge and they took him to the house of the magistrate, who was dining. The Galician protested his innocence, and as he pointed to a roast chicken on the table said: “As surely as I am innocent, will that cock crow if I am hanged!”

When the pilgrim was being hanged, the cock stood up on the table and crowed. No one any longer doubted the innocence of the condemned man. He was immediately released and sent on his way in peace. Years later, he returned to Barcelos and built a still existing cross to honor the miracle that saved him.

And from that point forward the Barcelos’ Rooster became a symbol of Faith and Justice.


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