The cockrell and the hen of Santo Domingo de la Calzada


The legend that I want to tell you today is possibly one of the most repeated tales along El Camino de Santiago, but that is not a reason to tire of it, or in this case, to read about it. This legend takes us to Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a beautiful town on the Camino Francés, where a legend tells of a rooster and a hen that crowed and cackled after they had been roasted.



The legend of the rooster and the hen

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A family of pilgrims comprising a married couple and their young son arrived to Santiago de la Calzada on their pilgrimage way to Santiago de Compostela.

They decided to stop in one of the local inns in order to rest their weary legs. As they arrived in there, the beauty of the young son did not go amiss amongst the maids, but of all of them the one that was more taken by the charms of the youngster was the daughter of the innkeeper.

In the middle of the night she found her way into his room to try to seduce him, but his sense of faithful Christian were stronger than the carnal desire that he had for the sensual and attractive young maid. The poor girl ignored that he was a pilgrim and mistook his resistance to temptation with rejection to her, so she decided to take vengeance. She took a silver goblet and placed it inside his rucksacko.

The next morning, when the family were getting ready to resume their pilgrimage, the innkeeper´s daughter denounced the disappearance of the valuable goblet, which was quickly located amongst the handsome young man. No alibis, excuses, swearing or pleas could avoid the prosecution and sentence to death by hanging of the poor young pilgrim.

Despite the painful blow that this represented to the mournful parents, they decided to continue their pilgrimage towards the apostle´s tomb to pray for the soul of their beloved son. On their way back from Santiago they passed by the spot where their son had been hang and both of them saw with horror how the body of their son was still hanging from the noose. When they approached the body, their son started talking to them and told them that he was still alive thanks to Santo Domingo.

It was lunchtime and the mayor of Santo Domingo de la Calzada was about to tuck into a rooster and a hen that had just been roasted, when the couple abruptly came into the room and demanded that their son was taken off the gallow because he was still aliveo.

-Alive?- cackled the mayor-. Yes, as alive as these two pieces of poultry I am about to eat.

At that very instant the two birds stood standing covered in feathers, they started crowing and cackling all around the room. The mayor was perplexed by this miracle and order to unhung the son of the couple. This time the three of them left and carried on their way again to see the tomb of the apostle.

When the church of Santo Domingo de la Calzada was extended, the tomb of the saint was kept inside the building, and at the feet of this tomb a kind of cage was built where during centuries, and uninterruptedly, a rooster and a hen had lived since.

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If you want to know more about Santo Domingo de la Calzada and the importance it had in El Camino, we recommend that you visit our post about famous characters of El Camino de Santiago that my fellow blogger Sergio wrote.

Cheers and “buen Camino”!


About Author

Isaac Martínez

Soy diseñador multimedia, hiker experimentado y arquitecto de Rutas en Vojo. Un día descubrí el Camino de Santiago y ya no me lo pude sacar de la cabeza. Me gustaría compartir con todos vosotros la experiencia y conocimientos que he podido adquirir a lo largo de cientos de kilómetros recorridios por esta y otras rutas, y dar a conocer consejos, historias y curiosidades que te ayuden a disfrutar mucho más tu Camino.

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