Barcelos is a beautiful medieval city with a strong cultural identity. This comes from craft traditions such as pottery, as well as from the Galo de Barcelos, the ornamental cock that became an emblem for all of Portugal. The weekly Thursday market is one of the largest in the country and, along with the usual fresh produce, is the dream of every souvenir hunter. Therefore, if you are in Porto and want to see more, it is definitely an excellent option to visit Barcelos.
What to visit for free in Barcelos?
- Cimo da Vila Tower
- Paço dos Condes de Barcelos
- Igreja Matriz de Barcelos
- Barcelos Weekly Market
- Gaul from Barcelos
- Ponte de Barcelos
- Vilar de Frades Church
- Igreja do Bom Jesus da Cruz
How to get from Porto to Barcelos?
You can take the train from Porto and arrive in 1.5h at Barcelos station and then walk to the historical centre (the station is not very close to the city so be prepared to walk). The easiest option is to go by car. You can get to the town early and return to Porto in the afternoon. Actually, it is worth at least spending a whole morning or afternoon in this medieval village.
The story of the cock of Barcelos
Around the cock of Barcelos there is a legend, very similar to the one we have in Spain about Santo Domingo de la Calzada. It is said that a Galician pilgrim who was doing the Camino de Santiago was in Barcelos, where he was unjustly accused of theft and condemned to be hanged. When he testified before the judge (who was eating a roast rooster), he said: “I am innocent, and as proof of this that rooster will rise and crow”. And at the moment of execution, the rooster crowed, proving the pilgrim’s innocence and saving himself from death.
This story is represented in the Lord of the Rooster Cruise, engraved on stone. The cruise is in the Archaeological Museum, inside the Palace of the Counts of Barcelos.