Building human towers, or castells, is an old Catalan tradition dating back over two hundred years. The Tarragona Human Tower Competition is an annual sporting event carried out by the best teams in the country and it is held every two years in Tarragona, a city in Spain’s Catalonia region about 50 miles southwest of Barcelona. Nearly 6000 audience gather at an old bull ring in Tarragona on the primary weekend of October in excess of the weekend intended for its annual cast ells opposition, where teams complete of up to hundreds of populace work together to build human tower.
Each castell (a Catalan word for castle) is built by a team, called a colla, consisting of between 75 to 500 members of all ages, with no discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, sex or social status. They share the common goal of building human towers, democratic values, cooperation and team work, a constant desire to surpass themselves, and a will to maintain a lead over a select and competitive group of rival human tower associations.
Young and light members form the top of a tower while heavier members form the base. Music plays as a team erects its tower, usually between six and ten levels high. Leading teams compete against each other for the first place in different categories where towers are scored on difficulty.
The event is well-liked with both locals and tourist and has been affirmed part of the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Check out these amazing images of 24th Tarragona Castells Comptetion, held on October 7, 2012 in Tarragona, Spain.