Legend of Santo Domingo de la Calzada

June 15, 2017

Did you know…?

Tradition says that among the Many Compostela pilgrims make stops in Santo Domingo de la Calzada for venerate the relics of the Saint, a German couple arrived here with their eighteen-year-old son named Hugonell, from Ad Sanctos (Xanten in the diocese of Münster, but until 1821 from the Archbishopric of Cologne)

The girl in the inn where they stayed fell in love with the young Hugonell, but before the boy's indifference, he decided to take revenge. He put a silver cup in the young man's luggage and when the pilgrims went on his way, the girl denounced the robbery to the Corregidor.

The laws then (Law of Alfonso X the Wise) punished with death penalty the crime of theft and once was caught and tried, the innocent pilgrim was hanged.

When his parents left for Santiago de Compostela, they went to see his son hanged and when they arrived at the place where he was, they heard the son's voice announcing that Santo Domingo de la Calzada had kept his life. They went immediately to the Town Hall and told him the prodigy.

Incredulous the Corregidor answered that his son was as alive as the rooster and hen that he was preparing to eat.

At that precise moment the rooster and the chicken jumping from the plate began to sing.

And from this moment the famous verses are said:

Santo Domingo de la Calzada
where the hen sang after roasting


In memory of this event, a rooster and a hen live in the Cathedral throughout the year. They are always white and come from donations of devotees of the Saint, changing couples every month. The rest of the time it remains in a chicken coop that the Brotherhood of Santo Domingo maintains in its registered office.

In front of this niche that was built around 1445 and under a Romanesque window a piece of the wood of the pilgrim's gallows is preserved.

In the Cathedral Archive there is a 1350 document with indulgences that 180 Bishops grant

«To the Cathedral of La Calzada, where there is a white rooster and a chicken, who devoutly turn around the tomb of the Saint, reciting the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory»