Castellers: Barcelona’s Human Towers

The origin of this Catalan tradition comes from the 18th century. The people of Valls, a small-town west of Barcelona, started building the towers, giving the opportunity to individual groups (colles) to compete later in sporting events.

The towers consist of three levels:

  • The basis – “Pinya”: large ring that stabilizes the castell. It softens the fall when the tower falls
  • Tronc”: several levels of a specific number of individuals
  • Pom de dalt”: the tower dome (reserved for kids)

Each casteller has its own position and function within the structure. Once the “Pinya” is placed, each member falls into their own position in a pre-defined order. Once the castell is formed, the “Anxenta” climbs up to greet the crowd. The technique of building and de-constructing a castell is constantly trained.

After the tower is crowned, it’s time for its deconstruction. For this process, the kids at “Pom de dalt” are given foam-padded helmets.

During the building of the castell, a flute and drum play a song (Toc se Castells), indicating the different building phases.

The Castellers of Today

Until the 20th century, 7-level towers were built. The number today can reach up to 9 tower levels, something that has been achieved only by 10 “colles” from the Coordinadora the Colles Castelleres de Catalunya”.

Since 2010, this incredible tradition is also a part of the ‘Intangible World Heritage’ by UNESCO.

Tags: # Meeting #ErasmusPlus #Ethics #HumanTowers

Below are some pictures from the partners’ visit in Mataro, Catalonia, Spain.

Erasmus+ co-funding

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use, which may be made of the information contained therein Project number 2020-1-NL01-KA202-064636.

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