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The Concurs de Castells de Tarragona was born in 1932. Although there was some precedents ─in 1902, one had been held in Barcelona─, the appearance of the Concurs de Castells de Tarragona responded to a new expansion dynamic and effervescence that the 'castells' (human towers) world was going through at the time, with the increase in the difficulty of 'castells' and the appearance of new 'colles' (teams) in VallsTarragona and El Vendrell, which joined the historical Xiquets de Valls

The Concurs de Castells de Tarragona, moreover, was born at the suggestion of Pau Casals, native of El Vendrell and a fan of 'castells', and already a musician of international prestige. In this way, the Concurs added, from the beginning, the desire to contribute in improving the social and cultural consideration of 'castells'. Casals presided over the 1932 and 1933 editions, which were held in the city's old bullring. In the following years, that was impossible to repeat, partly because of the turbulent socio-political situation in the country. 

Once the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) was over, contests became a fairly common element of the 'castells' world. During the following 30 years, they were held in Barcelona, Vilafranca del Penedès, Reus and Valls. During this period, Tarragona also organized competitions again, with a total of three editions between 1952 and 1956, maintaining the bullring as stage and introducing the biennial periodicity, despite it not becoming consolidated in the end.  

1970 is a key year. The recently created Patronat Municipal de Castells decided to bring back the Competition to ensure that the city continued to be a top 'castells' square. The Patronat managed to add the participation of the two leading 'colles' at the time, which had not been in the plaza for years. The anticipation is amazing, the bullring gets packed and the show lives up to the circumstances, with the recovery of such a key 'castell' as it was the 'dos de vuit amb folre'. For all these reasons, even back then, the 1970 Concurs was referred to as "the Competition of the Century". 

From that moment on, competitions in the bullring took place every even year without interruption, although between 1974 and 1978, the 'castells' demonstration format was adopted, which meant it having no scoring or classification system. When the Concurs format was restored in 1980, Tarragona was the only city in Catalonia with a proper competition.  

During the following decades, the Concurs de Castells de Tarragona sees a growth in the 'castells' world. Thus, in 1982, it was home for the first nine-storey 'castell' can; in 1996, it saw the first construction of the so-called 'gamma extra' or extra range (the most difficult 'castells'); and, in 2000, the first of ten-storey constructions. At the same time, the Concurs is also gaining in media coverage: in 1990, it was the first castells event ever broadcasted by Televisió de Catalunya. As a negative counterpoint, as of 1996, the Concurs ─which had been born with the vocation of bringing together all the 'colles' that existed at any given moment─ had to limit participation to only the eighteen best ones, while its total number was increasingly growing. 

The arrival of the 21st century serves to consolidate and improve the Concurs in several aspects. First, from 2006 onwards, the organization is progressively professionalised to respond to new challenges and opens to the entire 'castells' world with the implementation of the Consell Assessor. Second, between 2006 and 2010, the bullring was deeply refurbished to become, while maintaining its iconic appearance, the current Tarraco Arena Plaça (TAP), a multipurpose and modern facility, which includes a spectacular dome that covers the arena. Finally, in 2012 the Competition was extended to two days, and two years later, the extra competition day due in Torredembarra was added. In this way, the number of participating 'colles' was increased to a total of 42, which meant that as many colles as possible participated in the great celebration the Concurs had become. In 2012, the Biennal del Concurs de Castells was also created, as a sort of framework to develop dissemination and reflection activities around the world of 'castells' during the two years between each Concurs.


Winner list for each edition 

Year - Winning Colla | Best castell 

1932 - Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls  |  2d7 

1933 - Colla Nova de Valls  |  4d8 

1952 - Muixerra de Valls / Nens del Vendrell  |  4d8 

1954 - Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls  |  3d8 © 

1956 - Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls  |  3d8 © 

1970 - Nens del Vendrell  |  2d8f 

1972 - Castellers de Vilafranca  |  3d8 © 

1980 - Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls  |  5d8 © 

1982 - Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls  |  4d9f © 

1984 - Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls  |  4d9f © 

1986 - Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls  |  3d9f © 

1988 - Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls  |  3d9f © 

1990 - Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls  |  3d9f 

1992 - Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls  |  3d9f 

1994 - Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls  |  3d9f  

1996 - Castellers de Vilafranca   |  2d9fm 

1998 - Castellers de Vilafranca  |  4d9fa 

2000 - Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls  |  3d10fm © 

2002 - Castellers de Vilafranca  |  3d10fm © 

2004 - Castellers de Vilafranca  |  2d8 © 

2006 - Castellers de Vilafranca  |  2d8 © 

2008 - Castellers de Vilafranca  |  2d8 © 

2010 - Castellers de Vilafranca  |  4d9fa 

2012 - Castellers de Vilafranca  |  2de8 

2014 - Castellers de Vilafranca  |  3d10fm © 

2016 - Castellers de Vilafranca  |  4de10fm 

2018 - Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls  |  2de8 

2020 - Cancelled due to Covid-19

2022 - Castellers de Vilafranca  |  3d10fm


F = folre    /    fm = folre i manilles   /    fa = folre i agulla     /     © = carregat