An amazing Catalan tradition

Building human castles is one of Catalonia’s oldest and most spectacular local traditions, and this amazing feat of strength, balance and courage is an important part of Catalan cultural identity. We have a special relationship with different groups of castellers across Catalonia, and can arrange for you to get a real insight into their art by watching a training session, after which you can enjoy some tapas and a drink at the bar on their premises.

The gravity-defying human towers called castells (Catalan for ‘castles’) date back to the late 18th century, and the tradition enjoys UNESCO recognition as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The Barcelona castellers are always keen to share their tradition with visitors, and will enthusiastically explain how their team works together to pull off the remarkable feat. There is a lot of healthy rivalry and great bonhomie between the different collas (groups) and you are guaranteed a very warm welcome.

Each castell consists of three parts; the base, called la pinya, is made up of the strongest of the group and acts as a support and also a human safety net in case anyone falls; the tronc, or main tower, is built on top of this, and is then crowned with the pom. The smallest and most agile member of the team, usually the youngest, shins up quickly to the summit and raises their hand to signal that the castell has been completed. The most spectacular castells are a gravity defying 10 stories high!

Seeing the castellers at work at such close quarters is an unforgettable experience most visitors never see and is an opportunity that really should not to be missed.

Please contact us to find out more about getting to know the castellers.

Anthony guided us through the sights, sounds and tastes of Barcelona with confidence and he knew all the right places, which enabled us to get that authentic experience.

Mark Walker Executive Chef at TSC Foods, England

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