Castells, the most famous human tower in the world
castellers the most famous human tower in the world
Declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco, the Castells can be proud to be one of the most peculiar traditions of Barcelona. With more than two centuries of history, the raising of castles or human castells constitute a showy spectacle, which can reach 15 meters in height and in which a hundred people participate. If you want to discover all the anecdotes, stories and singularities of this event, you have an appointment with the following lines. Can you come with us?
Few Barcelona customs are as internationally known as the Castells, which are held annually in the Plaza de San Jaime for the La Merced festivities, taking place on the Sunday following the event. With striking equipment (white trousers and red or green shirt), its participants or castellers are grouped in the so-called castellera collas, of which there are about sixty, ten of which are located in Barcelona. In fact, Codal City has the most famous group, the Colla Vella, the longest by far, because it would go back to the historic Colla dels Pagesos of 1801, no less.
As is obvious, the Castells de Barcelona are possible thanks to a well-organized organization, where each participant is one more piece in the structure of these castles: thus, we have a base or pinya, the so-called tronc or trunk and the highest floor or pom de dalt, as well as the enxaneta, formed by a child member who crowns the castell and raises his arm to heaven. If the strength of the formation is in danger at some point, the reinforcement participants are always ready. They are the manilles and the folre.
Castells, a centuries-old tradition
The Castells would have pagan as well as religious origins, being able to go back to rituals previous to Christianity, when the harvests and the rains were decisive factors in the prosperity of the different Spanish towns, and ceremonies were organized to encourage the growth of the vegetables, the climates favorable, etc.
According to the most solid sources, the first castells was built at the beginning of 1801, on the occasion of the Decenales Festivals of the Virgen de la Candela in Valls, in Tarragona. Throughout the century, this marvelous custom extended to the rest of the province of Tarragona and Barcelona and was gradually consolidated as one of the most valued symbols of Catalonia and Spanish tourism by extension.
In this way, Castells de Barcelona can not be absent from our itinerary if we want to delve into the history and more authentic traditions of this land. Undoubtedly, an obligatory stop for the most curious tourists.