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'Castells' are human towers of up to ten storeys that have been built by 'colles castelleres' (organized groups or teams that build these towers) in Catalonia for over 200 years. It is, without a doubt, a powerful popular culture manifestation with traditional roots that combines the spectacularity, plastic beauty and, at the same time, remarkable social and civic values.

'Castells' were born between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century in the area of Camp de Tarragona and Penedès, but in the last 50 years they have spread throughout Catalonia and even beyond. In fact, in the 21st century, 'castells' are going through the best moment in their history, with nearly 100 'colles castelleres' carrying out the most difficult constructions ever. This sweet moment is completed with an important media projection and recognized prestige, reflected in the inclusion of 'castells' in UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010.

This success is motivated by the fact that 'castells', despite being an activity with traditional roots that maintains a good part of its original attractions, have also been capable of adapting to new times in matters such as the addition of women ─initially, this was an men-only activity─; reducing risk ─for example, with the incorporation of a special helmet that protects children─, or openness to society in general. 'Castells' are traditional, yes, but at the same time, radically modern.

Furthermore, 'castells' offer contemporary society values that are often not easy to find, such as solidarity, teamwork, amateurism, democratic internal functioning... 'Castells' are an activity opened to everyone, in which men and women, adults and kids of any origin or economic, cultural or social status can join together. Therefore, it is also an activity with a great capacity for integration and social cohesion.

It is important to highlight the amateur nature of this activity. The members of the colles castelleres are not athletes or circus artists, although being in good physical condition is necessary to play certain roles, with long rehearsals also needed in order to erect these human constructions. They are ordinary men and women who get together to enjoy an activity they are passionate about.