The human tower - Catalonian Tradition

The human tower - Catalonian Tradition

Ah, sunny Barcelona. What happens in sunny Barcelona? Well, a lot. The beach, the sangria, the paella, the dancing, the walking - but also, the human towers. 

In Catalonian history, the Castell, otherwise known as a Human Tower, are found throughout Catalonia during summer festivities. Traditionally, we think of human towers where we stack 3 layers of people on all fours. In Catalonia, human towers are way more impressive. 

The tradition started in 1712 and is still very much active today. The record apparently is 6 or 7 layers high. According to tradition, the higher the layer, the younger the climber. This means 4-year-olds soften will summit these towers. If that sounds scary to you, I can assure you... it is. Once they reach the top, they stick one hand up with 4 fingers to symbolize the four red stripes on the Catalan flag.

With each layer, the louder the cheers become, the louder the band plays. Palms begin to sweat as we watch the youngest child, in a helmet, begin to climb up each layer. The wobbling becomes more and more pronounced. Hearts beat faster, anxiety heightens. Finally, four tiny fingers are raised in the air, trumpets scream, drums boom, cheers ring amongst the crowd.

The sensation during this moment is immeasurable. 

This my friends, is a Catalonian Human Tower (Castell) and if you ever get to this part of the world in the summer time, do not miss out. You can find event times for these towers in Barcelona (which usually are on weekends) by clicking this link. For more information on Castells, click here.

Check out some videos on Wanderlust Advocate YouTube Channel - click here and here

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Published by Wanderlust Advocate


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