Barcelona4Seasons's Blog

The construction of impressive human towers, called ‘castells’ in Catalan, is a Catalan tradition. It is so special and typical for Catalonia that UNESCO included it on its list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in November 2010.

This tradition started in the 18th century in the little village of Valls, located close to Tarragona and Barcelona. Peasants used to form small human castles at the end of the dances during the local celebrations. Little by little, different groups, called ‘colls’, were formed and began competing with each other to build the highest possible tower. In the 19th century, the building of the human towers became independent from the dances, but the spectacle is still accompanied by the traditional ‘Toc de Castells’, played by a flute and drums. This music serves to indicate and help the people within the castle to coordinate, as it…

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