Barcelos

Just north of the historic city of Porto, you will find the city of Barcelos which has been known for centuries for their ceramics. Barcelos is a walled town that is nestled snuggly atop a hill which overlooks the Cavado River. Cobblestone roads wander their way through the city and are lined with magnificent baroque styled homes.

One of the largest markets in the region can be found in Barcelos. Every Thursday, countless visitors from all over the country make their way to Campo da República to purchase the freshest vegetables and get their hands on some of the finest homemade ceramics and other handicrafts.

There are many great attractions in Barcelos to see. Many visitors stop by and check out the Nossa Senhora do Terço church every day. The Centro do Artesanato de Barcelos is filled with many fine handicrafts made by locals and are available for you to buy and take home with you; to serve as a reminder of your adventures in Barcelos. But you cannot leave the city without checking out the ancient archaeological site, Paço dos Duques de Bragança, which today is a museum.

There is also a legend which surrounds the town of Barcelos. Known as the legend of Galo de Barcelos, after a crime had been committed without any possible suspects, a Galician pilgrim came to the village. Since no one knew this pilgrim, he was immediately arrested, found guilty and sent to the gallows. Before he was to be hung, he was allowed to plead for his life before the judge who had determined his guilt. While pleading for his life and protesting his innocence, the pilgrim began to point at a ceramic cockerel which was placed on the table and told the judge, “If I am innocent, this will crow three times.” As the rope was placed around the neck of the pilgrim, the cockerel came to life and crowed three times.

Today, these colorful ceramic cockerels are one of the most popular crafts produced by the locals in honor of the legend of Galo de Barcelos.

Photo by paspog

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