Acrobats: Castellers de Barcelona

Location: Spain

Castellers de BarcelonaImpact Artists   Castellers de BarcelonaImpact Artists

What exactly are "castells"?
"Castells" is a Catalonian word that means castles- they are a cultural phenomenon particular to Catalonia, Spain and consist of erecting human towers. The towers or castles are erected following very precise techniques and every castle is a law unto itself because of the different factors to be taken into account. The last person to climb the whole tower or castle is the "anxaneta", a young girl or boy who, on arriving at the very summit raises his/her arm and salutes the public. This is the highlight of the event as the "castell" is considered to be crowned.
As the castle is erected different tunes are played to identify what is happening. E.g. see the "toc de castells" (the castle's reveille). The "gralla" an old kind of pipe and the "timbal" a small drum are the traditional musical accompaniment to castle performances and are as much an exciting part of it as the castle building in itself. The beginning and the end of each performance have their own special tunes ("toc d'entrada a la playa" - entering the square- which urges the people to come and watch and "toc de vermut" - refreshment time-") that signals the time to have a snack after the performance.

Els Castellers de Barcelona (The Barcelona Castellers)
The Castellers de Barcelona group was founded in 1969 by people who were originally from the area where castle building had already been developed.
From the very beginning and continuing nowadays the Castellers de Barcelona have kept on demonstrating their skills at local festivities, inaugurations, congresses and other popular events.
Even though the early days were not a bed of roses, the pastime of making castles was integrated gradually into Barcelona popular culture with the Castellers creating bigger and better structures. So by the early 70's, 7 storey castles were regular performances. In the early 80's, 8 storeys were the norm, and by the end of the 90's, complex 9 storey castles were being done. This situated the Castellers de Barcelona in amongst the elite 9 high storey castle category which is awarded by the "Coordinadora de Colles Castelleres de Catalunya",(Catalonian Castle Group Co-ordinators) which has 60 active associate group members at present.
The Castellers de Barcelona have erected these 9 storey castles frequently and are among the few groups that are capable of completing these complicated structures.

Castellers de Barcelona Castellers de Barcelona Castellers de Barcelona Castellers de Barcelona
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