WHAT ARE THE CASTELLS OR HUMAN TOWERS?
The castells or human towers are for sure the best-known Catalan tradition around the world. Nowadays it is not strange to see Castells at the top of a skyscraper in Manhattan ( video) or the “Xiquets de Hangzhou” the Chinese “Colla” participating in a competition in Tarragona (video).
Listed by the Unesco as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010.
We could say that “castells” are human towers erected by a group or Colla of “Castellers” formed by men and women of various ages from 9 to even 60 years old, and different complexions. They build towers by doing groups of 2,3 or 4 with their arms clasped and standing stall upon their colleague’s shoulders to reach quite a few stories of altitude.
The castells are not just a show or some kind of acrobatics, Castells is much more, it means TRADITION to the Catalans; there is evidence of their existence since the end of the 18th century.
It represents important human values such as union, trust, solidarity, and the spirit of improvement. Without any doubt, a team effort; because they need each other, everyone collaborates with a specific role and place in the Castell.
Both group and individual values are so important that today many companies motivate their employees with team-building events that include Castell’s activities or workshops, turning their employees into a “Colla de Castellers” for a few hours.