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The history of castells cannot be understood without the role of Tarragona as one of the most important venues or plazas, both bringing together the most important colles from all over the country, and thanks to the local castellers. Likewise, castells are a very present reality in the city, which considers them one of its most prominent identity features.

Throughout the 19th century, Tarragona hosted the performances of the Xiquets de Valls, as well as the city's Balls de Valencians. In Tarragona, the first documented nine-storey castell was built in 1851, as well as the most notable achievement of that entire First Golden Age, the quatre de nou of 1881.

Already in the 20th century, Tarragona played a prominent role in the Castellera Renaixença, a castells renaissance, which began precisely with the birth of a colla in the city, in 1926. From that year on, the existence of the Tarragona colles castelleres has been uninterrupted. Currently, the city has four colles castelleres: the Xiquets de Tarragona (born in 1970), the Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona (1980), the Xiquets del Serrallo (1988) and the Colla Castellera de Sant Pere and Sant Pau (1990). In addition, there is also a university colla, the Pataquers de la Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) (2007).

Obviously, one of the main links between the 'castells' and the city of Tarragona is, precisely, the Concurs de Castells, born in 1932 and which has been held every two years without interruption since 1980 in the Tarraco Arena Plaça.

The calendar of the main 'castells' performances in Tarragona is made up of the following diades (the four 'colles' of the city take part in all of them, except for the one on the first Sunday of the Santa Tecla festivities, with two colles from the city and two from somewhere else):

23rd of April (Sant Jordi): at night, in Rambla Nova

24th of June (Sant Joan): at night, in Plaça de la Font

19th of August (Sant Magí): at noon, in Plaça de las Cols

11th of September (National Day): at noon, in Pla de la Seu

Sunday before Santa Tecla: at noon, in Plaça de la Font

23rd of September (Santa Tecla): at noon, in the Plaça de la Font

24th of September (La Mercè): at noon, in the Plaça de las Cols.

This last performance ends with the spectacular descent of the “walking pilars”, which have become one of the distinctive features of the 'casteller' Tarragona. The “walking pilars” are four-storey, single-man constructions, which go up and down the stairs of the Cathedral and go to the town hall, a little journey of about ten minutes.

In addition, throughout the season, the city hosts other 'castells' performances, diades organized by local 'colles', major neighbourhood festivals and, recently, performances designed for tourists, on summer Wednesdays, as part of the programme “Tarragona, City of Castells”.