Castelling, a human tower

Castelling is an ancient Catalan tradition, first documented in the early 1800’s, it began in Tarragona, but has since spread throughout Catalonia. I first saw it courtesy of the pink trousered one, Michael Portillo, in one of his tv programmes, to which I am addicted. As I was in Barcelona for ‘The Dia’ last September, I knew there was a fair chance of seeing it.

The Centre for Cultura i Memoria in El Born was one of the places it could be seen, the one that was easy to find, and close to a favourite little café!

After a croissant filled with coffee flavoured mascarpone, it was time to go out into the Placa Comercial,

Where preparations were underway.

And then it began.

In the background, you can see the first layer climb on the shoulders of the base level, or Pinya as it’s known. The Pinya is wide and formed by the strongest of the group, to make a base that can support the weight of the rest and be a safety net should anyone fall.

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Several more layers are added, the Tronc, and finally, the littlest one scrambles atop, zoom in to see her nearly there, but I didn’t capture her with the camera, I was too entranced!

Once there, she gives a very quick wave, the crowd cheer and she’s back down the six layers beneath her, in just a few moments. Three troups performed that day, in competition, and each time I saw the wave, but my camera didn’t.

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23 thoughts on “Castelling, a human tower

  1. That’s awesome. I was initially thinking of Castling as described in chess, but this version looks far more fun. I will be in Spain this August/September, so maybe I’ll have to make a side trip back to Barcelona to check it out.

    1. I’d like an adventure too, I have to wait six months though. Meanwhile I’ll just be patient, enjoy spring and summer. Hope you don’t have long to wait and I think exploring your beaches and catching up with friends will be fun too!

    1. I love how he engages with people of all kinds, if his programme about the castelling, he was right in there on the base, with his lower back wrapped like the rest of the team.

  2. Eek! I think I’ll stick to walking, Gilly! You did a great job with the captures though. I remember watching that Portillo episode too. I like him, pink trousers and all 🙂 🙂 Have a great week! Hugs, sweetheart!

    1. Thanks honey, no lunchtime stroll for me today the weather is horrendous here, so not a good start to the week. Got Friday off though, hooray. Hope yours is a lovely one x🙂x

  3. Thank you for posting this, Gilly. I’d never heard of it. I would love to go to Spain.
    It’s amazing the confidence the person has to have to climb that high. I’d have been
    mesmerized and missed the final wave too. : )

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