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Dias dos Reis | all galleries >> FOTOS DE PORTUGAL >> Distrito de Braga >> BARCELOS > O Galo de Barcelos
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O Galo de Barcelos

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The 16th century cross which forms part of the patrimony of the Archaeological Museum of the town os associated with the curious legend of the cock. According to this legend, the inhabitants were very perturbed by a crime of which it had not been possible to discover the author. One day, however, there appeared a man from Galicia who was suspected of having committed it. He was arrested and, no withstanding protestations of innocence, nobody believed him, when he said that he was in his way to S. Tiago de Compostela to fulfil a vow; that he was a fervent devote of that saint who in Compostela was venerated. So he was condemned to be banged. But before the execution, he asked to be taken to the presence of the judge who had pronounced the sentence.

His request was granted, and they took him to the house of the magistrate, who was dining with some friends. The Galician once again protested his innocence, and to the amazement of those present pointed to a roast chicken on the table and exclaimed: ŤAs surely as I am innocent will that cock crow if I am banged! There was an outburst of laughter and comments, but in the end nobody touched the cock.

And what seemed impossible actually happened. 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. The judge rushed to the gallows and horrified saw the wretched man with the rope round his neck, but the knot was caught and this prevented him from being strangled. He was immediately released and sent on his way in peace. Years later, he returned to Barcelos and built the monument to the Virgin and St. James (San Tiago).

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Foto roubada por: Blue Portugal

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Daniel 07-Dec-2009 23:41

I made an animation about Galo de Barcelos. If you're interested you can watch it on