Human towers in Tarragona «Euro Weekly News

One of its most famous quirks Catalan Human nature is that of building human towers throughout the region.

Probably the best known is the one in Tarragona, which claims to be the biggest and best.

The phrase 'room for a little one' rings true as four local teams and visiting groups known as Colles compete to see how tall and sturdy their tower can be. Much depends on the weight and size.

The world's largest human tower

Every two years Tarragona organizes what it calls the world's largest human tower building competition (Castellar), which can reach a height of more than 15 meters.

The towers are made of people standing on each other's shoulders and usually a small child climbs up last to reach the tip of the sometimes shaking tower. The tradition in Catalonia dates back to the 18th century.e Century.

Covid halted the 2020 event but it took place in 2022 and now returns to Tarragona with training starting on June 24 on the city streets and the grand final being held at the Tarraco Arena (the old bullfighting ring) on ​​October 6 .

Large numbers of spectators fill the arena as they watch the different teams compete, with the heaviest and strongest forming the base and others lighter climbing on top, but there are no safety nets and it is not without danger.

Children wear safety helmets as their only protection

Even the children wearing safety helmets can fall and sometimes getting off is more dangerous than building the tower.

Practice makes perfect
Credit: https://castellscat.cat

There are four requirements to build a great tower: strength, balance, courage and wisdom, plus maybe no fear of heights!

In addition to being an exciting and potentially dangerous 'spectator sport', the Castells have been awarded UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity status.

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