There is a unique tradition of Catalonia which you shouldn’t miss out by no means! Get stunned watching this attraction of Barcelona and hold your breath till a little kid climbs back from a human tower build off up to 10 levels. The so-called els Castellers (castles) consists of building a tower of humans.

How to build a human tower

Everyone has a fixed function to ensure the completion of a human tower. Those Castellers are build up of different levels of people holding the next floor till the actual tower is build.

The base of the human towers, so-called Pinya, is the largest ring of people. It stabilizes the structure onto which the weight of the load above is distributed.

On top of this ring, depending on the height of the tower, one or two floors are added. This is considered to be the trunk of the human tower and on top of this, they build the actual castell, adding rings of fewer people onto this base.

One or two supporting structures can be built on top of the pinya if the castle is very high. The one directly on top of the pinya is called the folre and the one on top of that is the manilles.

To complete the tower a child, anxaneta, climbs up on top of the tower and greets the audience.

 

Los Castellers at Plaza St. Jaume

A historical competition

This tradition of Catalonia dates back to the end of the 18th century and has it’s origin in the small catalan town Valls, which is about 40 kilometers away from Barcelona.

In the beginning, small human towers were built in the context of a traditional folklore dance which was accompanied by a flute. Soon the towers became a phenomenon itself and rivaling groups started to build them higher and higher.

Those teams, the so-called colles, started to found own clubs to bring this unique art to perfection and compete between each other in order to build the highest or most complicated human tower. As this historically was a rural tradition the first club of Castellers de Barcelona was founded quite late in 1969.

The human towers in Barcelona became a solid part of city’s attractions. Traditionally castle performances took place on Sundays at midday in the Town Hall Square, as one of the main features of the local holiday festivities.

castellers-barcelona

Watch the show live

Nowadays you can watch Castellers during competitions or traditional catalonian festivals. The most important tower building event in Catalonia, Concurs de Castells, takes place in Tarragona every two years.

You can enjoy castellers during the main festivities of Barcelona as the Mercé, a five day lasting festival in September which honors the patron of the city.

Don’t miss out on this unique experience and enjoy the stunning human towers in Barcelona!