Spain’s 200 Year Old Tradition – The Human Towers Of Catalonia

Castellers de Vilafranca prepare the base of their next human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona,

 

Filmmaker and Photographer David Oliete is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  From his project ‘Human Towers‘. To see David’s body of work click on any image.

 

Colla Vella Xiquets de Valls build their human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

Colla Vella Xiquets de Valls build their human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

 

Colla Vella Xiquets de Valls prepare the base of their next human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

Colla Vella Xiquets de Valls prepare the base of their next human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

 

Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls prepare the base of their next human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls prepare the base of their next human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

 

The Human Towers (known as “castells” in Catalan) are traditionally built in festivities and competitions in the region of Catalonia, in Spain. During these events each group (known as “colla”) builds and dismantles its own human towers. For their success, a crowded and stunning base of hundreds of people needs to be previously perfectly set up. Each team wears a different shirt color.

 

Members of the Castellers de Sant Cugat look at the construction of a human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

Members of the Castellers de Sant Cugat look at the construction of a human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

 

The most important Human Tower Competition takes place in the city of Tarragona once every two years with the participation of 32 teams from all around Catalonia and a live audience of more than 20,000 people. During the competition, the higher and difficult to build a tower is, the more points a team gets. Every human tower is usually between six and ten levels high.

 

Colla Castellers Xiquets de Tarragona prepare their next human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

Colla Castellers Xiquets de Tarragona prepare their next human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

 

Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona prepare the base of their upcoming human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona prepare the base of their upcoming human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

 

The “castells” are also one of the most important cultural traditions in Catalonia for more than 200 years. “Strength, balance, courage and common sense” has become their motto. On 2010, the “castells” were declared by UNESCO to be amongst the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

 

The auxiliar base of the Capgrossos de Mataró during its human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

The auxiliar base of the Capgrossos de Mataró during its human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

 

Castellers de Vilafranca crown the top of their human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

Castellers de Vilafranca crown the top of their human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

 

Castellers de Barcelona crown their human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

Castellers de Barcelona crown their human tower during the XXV Concurs de Castells in Tarragona

 

See also:

Som Castells

We Are Human Towers

Video by David Oliete

 


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