The Eye

Tarragona, October 2014

Photo:E. Magre

All together now

Once a year, thousands of Catalans join forces in Tarragona to celebrate one of the most beautiful of national traditions: human castles, or castells. A UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, castells are the ultimate example of teamwork in action. There is no place for Messis or Ronaldos, as everyone has a role to play, from old castellers supporting the tower from its base, or pinya, to the little child – the enxaneta – who crowns the tower.

The annual castells contest in Tarragona takes place in the city's old bull ring. There is no bull fighting here any more, since the Catalan parliament banned it a few years ago. Now the Tarraco Arena is the home of the castells championship, with dozens of teams, or colles, each with distinctive coloured shirts. They compete to show off their skills at tower building, the higher the better. If you missed it this time, make sure you don't miss it next year!

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