Barcelos and the Market
This historical city is well known not only for its unique history, but also for its landscapes pointed by harmony and tradition combined.
The historic center is a must-visit place, with its important Gothic medieval bridge, dating back to the fourteenth century, the Pillory, a building from the late fifteenth century, late Gothic style, the Parish Church, a Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Ponte, the Palace of the Condes of Barcelos which currently houses the Archaeological Museum, the Pottery Museum, the street of D. Antonio Barroso, Tower of Porta Nova, the Church of Terco and the Church of Senhor Bom Jesus da Cruz.
The Rooster of Barcelos is an element that identifies both this region and the entire nation of Portugal. Its colorful crest adorns thousands of souvenirs scattered throughout the country, yet most of them are found here. Another aspect unique in this city is its weekly traditional market, considered the largest, oldest and best outdoor market in the north of Portugal, held every Thursday by the Cávado - the river that passes by. Such is the fame of this market that the whole city even seems like a different place when visited during a Thursday.
The open air market in Barcelos is the largest in Portugal and one of the largest in Europe. The tree-lined Campo da Republica is a huge public square devoted to the Thursday market. Barcelos isn’t that big, but folks come from everywhere to go to the market which offers a little of everything, from food to crafts, clothing, the renowned pottery of Barcelos and the symbol of the Minho region (and perhaps the whole of Portugal), the Barcelos Cockerel.
According to legend, a roasted Barcelos Cockerel in the process of being eaten by a judge is supposed to have saved the life of a traveler wrongly accused of theft by rising up and crowing his innocence.
Get to the market early, especially if you’re arriving by car; by mid-morning the place is packed in summer. You’ll be able to attend the market, then see the rest of the attractive center of Barcelos.