The Cockerel of Barcelos or Barcelos Rooster is a common decorative symbol seen throughout Portugal. Figurines, statues, carvings and pictures of the bird are seen everywhere and even those who haven't visited Portugal will probably be familiar with the creature from the ever popular Nando's restaurant branding!!
At Apartamento Azul we are lucky to have one of the cheeky fella's on the chimney pot of the apartment opposite to further brighten our already lovely view. Many local tourist shops sell various replicas, keyrings etc.
The legend of the bird is that in the 15th century in Barcelos in northern Portugal a pilgrim from Galicia on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela was falsely accused of theft and sentenced to death by hanging.
He plead to the magistrate who was at the time about to feast on a roasted cockerel saying that the rooster would crow at the hour of his hanging as proof of his innocence. The magistrate refused his plea but was put off his meal and didn't eat the cockerel, which lo and behold did stand up and crow as the man was hanged.
Fortunately the knot on the hangman's rope was faulty and on rushing to the scene the magistrate found the poor man still alive and he was released.
An interesting tale to say the least!!!