The Galo of Barcelos (second time around)

This is the Rooster of Barcelos, symbol of the small town of Barcelos in what is known as the Costa Verde region of Portugal and I dare say one of the symbols of Portugal, because the brightly coloured chappie can be found all over, be it as a statuette, on a dish towel, and apron, a T-shirt, you name it.

I have a huge collection of Galos. The biggest is knee-high and the smallest the size of a charm on a bracelet. Normally, they are all over the house and protect it from evil; right now, they are still in one of the many cartons waiting to be unpacked in the basement. No matter. I think that, even in a carton, they will protect our house.

Must tell you about my collections cum addictions. Someday. After I have told you about Portugal and The Sleeping Madonna. But first, the Galo of Barcelos. Here’s his story, or maybe I’d better call it a legend:

Long, long ago, a Galician who was on a pilgrimage, passed through the town of Barcelos. Unhappily for him, just at that time a murder had been committed. The poor Spaniard immediately became the prime suspect, was arrested, found guilty, and condemned to be hanged.

In jail, claiming his innocence, he asked to be brought before the judge again and was taken to the judge’s house. The official was dining (roasted rooster, what else?) and told the poor convict he could do nothing for him.

The Galician prayed to all his Saints and then pointed at the roasted rooster on the table.

“As surely as I am innocent, so will that rooster crow!”

The man was taken back to prison, the judge’s guests laughed, but they could not forget the man’s words, and the judge decided the rooster would not be eaten.

When the came for the man to be hanged, suddenly … the rooster came back to life and (you got it) crowed! The judge and his friends ran to the prison, the Spaniard was released and continued on his pilgrimage.

Legend has it, that he came back to Barcelos one year later and erected a small monument that is still there for all to see.

Now, I bet you think that the Galo of Barcelos plays a prominent role in The Sleeping Madonna. Do you? Answer: not at all! I don’t even once mention the poor beast … The Sleeping Madonna is about love and lovely people and lovable horses and vineyards and Port wine and Life. I’d just like you to know some more about Portugal, a country I adore.

We have time…


2 Comments to “The Galo of Barcelos (second time around)”

  1. I have never been to Portugal but would certainly like to.

  2. You’d love it, I’m sure, Ilana-Davita. It is a country I fell in love with at first sight. So rich in culture and history, such lovely, gentle people.
    Good to see you here, Ilana-Davita.

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