Barcelos, Portugal

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Barcelos, Portugal

Region: Barcelos

Geographic Coordinates: 41.516700, -8.616700
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 30.0°C (50°F to 86°F)
Climate: Mild, with warm summers and cool winters.
Population: 120391
Language: Portuguese

Barcelos is a charming town situated in northwestern Portugal, Renowned for its rich history, Vibrant culture, And stunning natural beauty. The town is located on the banks of the River Cavado and surrounded by lush green hills and picturesque countryside. The 14th-century Castle of Barcelos is one of the most iconic landmarks in the town. It was built to protect Barcelos from invaders and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Another must-see attraction is the Church of Bom Jesus da Cruz, A beautiful baroque-style church that dates back to 1705.

Barcelos has gained fame for its traditional handicrafts like pottery and embroidery. Visitors can explore local markets and shops to purchase unique souvenirs made by skilled artisans using age-old techniques passed down through generations. The town’s cultural heritage can be experienced through numerous festivals held throughout the year. One such event is Festa das Cruzes (Festival of Crosses), Which takes place every May with parades, Music performances, Fireworks displays, And street markets selling local delicacies. For nature enthusiasts, Barcelos offers plenty of opportunities to explore its beautiful surroundings.

The Peneda-Gerês National Park located nearby provides breathtaking landscapes with waterfalls, Lakes, Forests teeming with wildlife like wolves or wild horses! but not least important are gastronomy delights! In Barcelo’s restaurants you will find some delicious dishes like Arroz de Sarrabulho (rice stew made with pork blood) or Bacalhau à Zé do Pipo (codfish dish). And don’t forget about Vinho Verde – a light sparkling wine produced in this region! whether you’re interested in history or culture or nature or food – there’s something for everyone here in beautiful Barcelos!

Important Landmarks

  1. The Barcelos Rooster is a symbol of Portugal and the city of Barcelos.
  2. The Medieval Bridge is an ancient bridge over the Cávado River.
  3. The Archeological Museum features artifacts from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages.
  4. The Church of Bom Jesus da Cruz is an 18th-century church with beautiful azulejo tiles.
  5. The Palácio dos Condes de Barcelos is a 15th-century palace now turned into a museum.
  6. The Municipal Market is known for its fresh produce and traditional crafts.
  7. Monte do Facho viewpoint offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding area.
  8. Casa da Azenha is an old watermill turned into a cultural center showcasing local traditions.
  9. Nossa Senhora do Terço Chapel is a small chapel with beautiful blue tiles depicting religious scenes.
  10. The Caminho Português de Santiago (Portuguese Way of St James) is a popular pilgrimage route that passes through Barcelos’ historic sites and landmarks.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Barcelos is known for its agricultural production of vegetables, fruits, and wine.
  2. Textile Industry: The town has a thriving textile industry that produces clothing, linen, and other textiles.
  3. Tourism: Barcelos is a popular tourist destination due to its historical landmarks such as the Church of Bom Jesus da Cruz and the Medieval Bridge.
  4. Ceramics Industry: The town is famous for producing traditional Portuguese pottery such as the Galo de Barcelos (Rooster of Barcelos).
  5. Food Processing Industry: The region produces various food products such as olive oil, canned fish, cheese, and cured meats.
  6. Metalworking Industry: There are several metalworking companies in Barcelos that produce machinery parts and equipment.
  7. Construction Industry: With a growing population comes an increasing demand for housing and infrastructure development which has led to a thriving construction industry in the region.

Noteable History

  1. Legend of the Rooster: This legend is one of Portugal’s most famous legends. A pilgrim was accused of stealing from a local lord and sentenced to death but declared his innocence, promising to prove it by showing them a roasted rooster on his plate that would crow three times. The miracle happened, and he was set free.
  2. Manuel I: King Manuel I spent much time in Barcelos during his reign (1495-1521), commissioning many buildings, including the Santa Maria Church.
  3. Nuno Álvares Pereira: He was a Portuguese general who fought against Castile during the 14th century, considered one of Portugal’s greatest military heroes, and buried at Santa Maria Church.
  4. João de Azevedo Coutinho: He led troops against Spanish forces near Barcelos during the Portuguese Restoration War (1640-1668) and helped secure Portugal’s independence.
  5. António Variações: He was a popular singer-songwriter who became famous in Portugal during the 1980s for mixing traditional music with modern pop.
  6. Jorge Amado: He was a Brazilian writer exiled from Brazil due to political reasons who spent time living in Barcelos during World War II.
  7. Cidade Medieval de Barcelos Festival: This festival celebrates medieval culture every year around August 15th with reenactments, music, food, and crafts.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Museu de Olaria is a museum that focuses on the traditional pottery of Barcelos.
  2. Igreja do Senhor da Cruz is a beautiful church with intricate tilework and baroque architecture.
  3. Museu Arqueológico showcases the history of the region from prehistoric times to modern day.
  4. Torre Medieval de Barcelos offers stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside.
  5. Centro de Arte Contemporânea Graça Morais features contemporary works by local and international artists.
  6. Santuário do Bom Jesus da Cruz is a pilgrimage site with a stunning baroque staircase leading up to the church at the top of the hill.
  7. Casa da Lenda do Galo de Barcelos is a small museum dedicated to one of Portugal’s most famous folktales, The Rooster of Barcelos legend.
  8. Ponte Medieval de Barcelinhos spans across Cávado River, offering beautiful views and historic significance as it’s medieval bridge.
  9. Paço dos Condes de Barcelos is an impressive palace built in 1410 that now houses government offices but still open for tours occasionally.
  10. Casa dos Biscainhos, a grand mansion turned into Museum showcasing decorative arts, furniture, paintings etc from 17th-18th century Portugal.

Sports Teams

  1. Barcelos Futebol Clube – This local football club was established in 1922 and currently competes in the third tier of Portuguese football.
  2. Gil Vicente Futebol Clube – Though not based in Barcelos, this football club has strong connections to the city and frequently plays friendly matches there. Founded in 1924, it has competed at the highest level of Portuguese football.
  3. Associação Desportiva de Barcelinhos – Another local football club founded in 1948 that currently competes at the fourth tier of Portuguese football.
  4. Clube de Ténis de Barcelos – A tennis club founded in 1977 with several courts offering training for all ages.
  5. Grupo Desportivo e Recreativo Águias de São Mamede – An amateur futsal (indoor soccer) team established in 2003.

Cultural Events

  1. Festa das Cruzes is a festival that happens in May to celebrate the town’s patron saint, Nossa Senhora da Cruz. The streets are adorned with flowers and there are processions, concerts, and fireworks.
  2. Feira de Barcelos takes place every Thursday in the town center and is one of Portugal’s largest markets. Visitors can find everything from local handicrafts to fresh produce.
  3. Festival do Rio is a music festival that occurs in July and showcases various Portuguese musicians performing on stages throughout the town.
  4. Festas da Senhora da Saúde is a religious festival that takes place in August featuring processions, traditional dancing, and live music.
  5. Festas do Monte de São Gonçalo celebrates Saint Gonçalo who performed miracles for couples seeking fertility or love. It includes parades, traditional dances, and a fair with food vendors selling local specialties.
  6. Festival Internacional de Folclore do Rio Este happens in September and features groups from around the world performing traditional folk dances.
  7. Feira Medieval de Barcelos allows visitors to experience what life was like during medieval times with reenactments of battles, jousting tournaments, craftspeople demonstrating their skills at making swords or pottery etc.. This event usually happens in July or August.


  • Arroz de Sarrabulho – a rice dish made with pork meat and blood.
  • Cozido à Portuguesa – a stew made with various meats and vegetables.
  • Bacalhau à Braga – a codfish dish cooked with onions, potatoes, and cream.
  • Rojões à Minhota – pork cubes marinated in wine and garlic, served with potatoes.
  • Caldo Verde – a traditional soup made with kale, potatoes, and chorizo sausage.

Some popular restaurants in Barcelos that serve these dishes include:

  1. Restaurante Galo Novo
  2. Taberna do Armindo
  3. Restaurante Casa dos Arcos
  4. Tasquinha do Careca
  5. A Lareira Restaurant

Parks and Recreation

  1. Parque da Cidade de Barcelos – This is a spacious park situated in the heart of the city, which features walking paths, picnic areas, and a playground.
  2. Parque Natural do Litoral Norte – This nature reserve provides hiking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and breathtaking coastal views.
  3. Praia Fluvial de Barcelinhos – During the summer months, this river beach is an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing.
  4. Campo 5 de Outubro – This sports complex offers facilities for soccer, tennis, basketball as well as other outdoor activities.
  5. Museu Vivo do Cavalinho – Guests can take horseback riding lessons or join guided tours of this equestrian center that also houses a museum dedicated to Portugal’s horse history.
  6. Piscinas Municipais de Barcelos – These public swimming pools are open throughout the year and provide both indoor and outdoor options.
  7. Feira Semanal de Barcelos – Every Thursday morning there is a lively market where visitors can purchase fresh produce, handmade crafts, clothing items among other things.


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