Hundreds of people came together to build human castles in the north-east region of Tarragona this weekend. The Human Tower Competition is a human tower building event that takes place every two years with the participation of the main teams (colles) in the country. Catalonia is the home of the sport, which dates back to the 18th century.
The 26th edition of the tradition ended after three days of competition, with over 200,000 attending the event to watch people building human towers or “castells”.
The aim of the competition is simply to build the strongest, tallest and most complex tower of people, with men, women and children all competing.
The structure of the castells varies depending on their complexity. A castell is considered completely successful when it is loaded and unloaded without falling apart.
The Catalan tradition is believed to have originated from human towers built at the end of the 18th century by dance groups and is part of the Catalan culture.
This year saw a foreign team compete for the first time. “Els Xiquets de Hangzhou”, a team from China took part, coming second on Saturday. The team received a standing ovation for their tower, which was assembled with three people per level in a tower of nine. The highest castell in history was a ten floor structure with three people in each floor.