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Hotel do Terço


Discover the beauty of the oldest village in Portugal.

Festa das Cruzes

If you are looking for fun, Barcelos holds the most famous festival of the Miño region between April and May: the so-called Festa das Cruzes. During five intense days, the city is filled with bright colours and entertainment, and the festival is a place where religiosity and entertainment seem perfectly harmonised.

The origins of this celebration date back to the beginning of the 16th century, when a shoemaker was returning home from the mass and, while he was walking across the Campo da Feira square, he saw a black cross on the ground. This event was thought as a holy sign and fostered the devotion to the Senhor da Cruz (Lord of the Cross).

Until the 19th century, this festival was mainly a religiouscelebration, although some popular and playful elements were introduced from the 20th century onwards. However, the festival Festa das Cruzes has even today a great economic, cultural, social and historical importance, which seems to be the reason why this festival is part of the identity of the city.

Barcelos Market

If you enjoy street markets, every Thursday one of the biggest markets of Northern Portugal is held in the square Campo da Feira. Anything can be found in this market: vegetables, household linen, hardware, kitchenware, goldsmithing, as well as a great local handicraft exhibition.

This market was first held in the 15th century by king D. João, who approved the organisation of an annual market in Barcelos.

The market of Barcelos is one of the main engines that drive the life and the economy of the village due to its wide supply and variety, as well as the quality and freshness of the products.

Walking through Barcelos

The king Dinis I offered the city to the Count of Barcelos in 1298. If you cross the Cádavo river by the Gothic bridge, you will immediately see the medieval old town of the city: the ruins of the counts palace, together with the main church, O Pelourinho ("The Pillory") or the square Terreiro do Paço (home to an interesting open-air archaeological museum).

During your stroll through the city, you will find the Cruzeiro do Senhor do Galo (Crucifix to the Lord of the Rooster), a stone cross with a bas-relief that relates the legend of the popular Rooster of Barcelos.

If you continue your tour towards the Pinheiros manor-house, you will find the O Barbadão (the great-bearded one), a stone statue of a bearded old man who claims for revenge against a noble from the ducal palace who had dishonoured his daughter.

You can also take a walk through the pleasant Baroque-style gardens and pay a visit to the church of Senhor Bom Jesus da Cruz (church of the Good Jesus of the Cross). This is an elegant church whose façade manages to blend the dark stones of granite with the whiteness of chalk.

Only a donjon remains out of the ancient city walls, which is the place where the local tourist office is placed nowadays.