Human Towers in Barcelona


The origins of this Catalan tradition of building human towers dates back to the 18th century. It was in the small town of Valls, about 40 km west of Barcelona, that the inhabitants started building the towers, The individual groups (colles) started to compete in sporting events. Thus, not only the building itself was invented, but also the competition.

The different levels of a castell The towers at that time resembled very much the ones of today, the basic structure of a castell, as they are called in Catalan, having barely changed. Such a tower always consists of three parts. The basis is the so-called “Pinya“, a relatively large ring, onto which the weight of the load above is distributed, and which stabilizes the structure. This ring also softens the fall of the castellers, when the tower falls apart. Depending on the height of the tower, one or two additional ring-shaped floors (“Manilles“) are put on top of the pinya. Other interesting sites Schedule of the Castellers Website of the Castellers The sights in Barcelona On top of this, the actual tower is built. The “tronc“, Catalan for trunk, consists of several levels with a specific number of people. Depending on the number and distribution of the up to 9 people of a ring, each castell has a name of its own. Climbing to the top of the tower is only allowed for kids, because of their low weight. They form the “pom de dalt“, the tower dome