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Lisbon cheap souvenir: Cock-a-doodle… do!

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Lisbon cockerels having a face-off. These two are for sale.
Lisbon cockerels having a face-off. These two are for sale.

Throughout Portugal, the cockerel is a symbol of faith, justice and good luck. As far as we’re concerned, our fine-feathered friend is also a symbol of a bargain. In Lisbon, where folk art featuring the cockerel is available in every gift shop, the little guy is a souvenir worth crowing about.

Bring home some rooster

A Portuguese legend has it a pilgrim, passing through the small town of Barcelos, was accused of theft. The judge who would decide his fate was about to eat a roast dinner (naturally), when the pilgrim cried out, pointing to his meal, “If I am innocent, may the cockerel get up and crow!” According to the legend, crow the cock did indeed. Case closed.

Today, the vocal rooster can be found all around Lisbon. Stop in any souvenir shop and you’ll find statuettes, wine stoppers (our favorite), table clothes, even beach towels emblazoned with his image. The list crows on and on. We suggest heading down the cobbled streets of Baixa, rebuilt after the earthquake of 1755, to find shops and people watch.

While you’re at it…

If you are looking for another typical Portuguese gift, pick up a piece of lace or azulejo tile. The town is well known for both items, which can usually be found alongside rooster fare in souvenir shops.

Also see: Our recommended budget hotels in Lisbon.

About the author

Kari Hoerchler

En junio 2000, Kari moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina and never looked back...until she ran out of pesos. After another round of bank riots, the travel lady bug moved to more stable financial ground: Wall Street. (Hey, no laughing!) Currently the Listings Manager for Over There Interactive for cold, hard cash, she is also a co-author of The Maneater Murder Mystery Series and Venue Goddess for Lit Crawl NYC.

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2 thoughts on “Lisbon cheap souvenir: Cock-a-doodle… do!”

  1. I write for the Auto Europe blog, and I’ve just posted a brief guide to Portugal (http://blog.auto-europe.co.uk/). Apparently the pituresque medieval village of Obidos is one of the best places in the country to find quality local handicrafts, as well as having great views (it’s perched on a hill).

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