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Castellers: human tower spectacular catalan tradition

Updated on November 24, 2011
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Catalans are very strange people, capable of the most moderate traditions like sardana, the typical catalan dance, but crazy enough to successfully build human towers of several stages of people standing upon the shoulders of each other.

If you ever come to visit Catalonia, don't miss the opportunity to sight a Diada Castellera. It is not a very populated event between the common touristic circuits. They use to like more events like flamenco dance, bullfighting and so ever, everything but catalan traditions.

Castle builders are not professional. They belong to groups of people, very large groups, called Colles Castelleres. that represents a community, usually a village, quarter or city. During weekends, mostly sunday, and in Major Parties, Colles compete in Diades Castelleres against several other Colles in order to charge and uncharge the most difficult castle.

But if you are a tourist and want to "participate" ...

There is a lot of people participating in the building, most of them in the base, called pinya.

Then you need to know where and when the Diades Castelleres happen.

The Temporada Castellera starts in spring at Sant Jordi (George) april the 23th, and finish at fall, in the last weekend of november.

Follow this link to find out the Diades of the week. the Colles that will participate, and their ranking.

For a wider calendar, then you can consult viquipedia, the wikipedia in catalan. There is a section called Diades destacades with the most important Diades. For a translation, visit gencat.cat and submit the url to translate.

The video under this paragraph narrates the first time that a "3 de 9 amb folre i agulla" is achieved in history. It's a very difficult castell. The Colla in the video is Castellers de Vilafranca, by far the first one of the ranking in 2010.

How to go

As in my other hubs, I recommend moving inside and around Barcelona using public transportation. All the coast is well liked by Renfe trains, called Rodalies. But if you want to be more flexible in your movements, or you have the opportunity to come with your own private vehicle or to rent a car, then there is an extensive and modern road network. I just recommed to get a good GPS system.

Tools you need

There are two tools you will need:

  • A good GPS system to get to the place without error.
  • A good camera. I always recommend a lightweight DSLR or a compact high-zoom or bridge camera. I propose some models.

Castells: Unesco Intangible Heritage of the Humanity

In november 2010 the 16th, Catells could have been declared Intangible Heritage of the Humanity.

Castells is a example of human cooperation, of what people can achieve when working together even prosecuting difficult goals.

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    • ManuelFrBarcelona profile image
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      ManuelFrBarcelona 6 years ago

      I fully agree with you. If you ever come to Barcelona, don't miss the chance to be in a Diada Castellera. It's worth the time.

      The season is about to finish and new season will start in late april next year.

    • nowavenowave profile image

      nowavenowave 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      "Since november 16th of 2010 the castells are one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity declared by the UNESCO."

      thats today!

      its important that traditions such as these and acknowledged and remembered. i enjoyed the learning of this.