This bright rooster is a symbol of Portugal. The city of Barcelos is famous for the legend origin of one of the symbols of Portugal — the Rooster. In Portuguese it is called "Cucarella". Since that time the feathered hero has become a Portugese symbol of justice, and to remember the legend, its image is used in various souvenirs. The image of this bright Rooster can be found not only on the weathervanes of the city, but everywhere: in the form of a wooden souvenir, on various dishes, on tablecloths, towels, on ceramic tiles.
The story of the Barcelos Rooster. Long ago (in the middle ages) around the 17 century the pilgrims went to Santiago de Compostela to venerate the relics of the Apostle James. They stopped for a night in the small town of Barcelos, in the north of Portugal. But in those days it was not just a town, but also a capital of the first County of independent Portugal (1298) and the residence of the founder of the dynasty of the Dukes of Braganza — the future kings of Portugal (since 1640), so the town had its own judicial and executive power.
Among the pilgrims was a young Galician. Tired from the road, he asked to spend the night in one of the inns. The Galician liked the hostess of the inn and she harassed him in every way, but the young man was deeply religious and rejected the woman's intentions. His goal was the journey and prayer, he did not plan any carnal sin. Having decided to have a revange, she waited until he fell asleep and put her silver cutlery in his bag. In the morning, having paid the hostess for the night, the traveler was about to leave, when the hostess began to cry: "Stolen, stolen." The guards came and searched his belongings and discovered the theft.
According to local laws, the pilgrim's fault was obvious and meant hanging. However, the pilgrim believing that the truth was in God, demanded an audience with a local judge. Last request of the arrested person was respected. The Galician was taken to the house of the servant of Themis. The judge and his friends were sitting at a dinner table with a variety of dishes, including roasted rooster on a separate platter. The judge complacently listened to all of the negation of a Galician and approved the original sentence. The Galician, led away by the guards, finally rushed to the judge and shouted: "I am innocent, I call Heaven as a witness! If I'm not lying, let that rooster stand up and sing!" The judge did not react to this. As a judge, he knew well that every caught thief tried to proove his/her innocence. The convicted Galician was taken away, and the judge and his friends proceeded to dinner. But the meal was short-lived, in that moment, when the executioner of the condemned men threw a noose around his neck, a roasted rooster suddenly came to life and crowed. After a "slight" short shock, remembering the words of the Galician, the judge jumped and rushed to the square to prevent injustice. There the judge witnessed the second appearance of God's mercy to the unjustly accused pilgrim, the rope broke when the executioner knocked the support from under his feet, and the pilgrim remained alive and was respectfully released and the pilgrim continued his pilgrimage unhindered.
A few years later, the pilgrim returned to Barcelos, where he established a memorial cross dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. James, as a sign of gratitude to his heavenly patrons "Cross of the hero of the legend of the Rooster."
The rooster of Barcelos is a symbol of the triumph of the highest justice and mercy. A Rooster from Barcelos did not end his mortal existence on the table of the judge. It was revived in the 1930s, one potter in the village near Barcelos named Domingo Cot made a clay rooster in memory of the fried loudmouth. The figure was not a masterpiece, but a brightly colored rooster acquired a certain charm. The villagers, then the inhabitants of the surrounding towns wanted to have the same rooster. And a painted rooster became a symbol of Portugal, a symbol of triumph of justice!