Everything you ever wanted to know about human towers

Third volume of 'castellers' encyclopedia presented in Barcelona, with remaining instalments set to be completed by 2020

Catalan president Quim Torra with a copy of the encyclopedia on April 24 2019 (by Pau Cortina)
Catalan president Quim Torra with a copy of the encyclopedia on April 24 2019 (by Pau Cortina) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 24, 2019 08:19 PM

Anyone who has seen Catalonia's human towers, known as castells, and ever wondered about the strange custom can find everything they need to know in an ongoing series of books that explain all aspects of this unique example of the country's cultural heritage.

The Enciclopèdia castellera, published by Cossetània Edicions under the supervision of Xavier Brotons, is a series of books covering the Catalan tradition of human towers, and the third volume was officially presented on Wednesday in Barcelona.

With three volumes of the encyclopedia now already published, Brotons said that the fourth and fifth volumes are "on their way," with the sixth and final volume planned to be published sometime in 2020.

The encyclopedia's first two volumes cover the history of castells, with this third instalment devoted to technical aspects. The fourth and fifth volumes will deal with sociological and anthropological aspects, respectively, with the final book covering "miscellaneous" subjects.

The book's presentation took place in the palace housing the Catalan government headquarters, with president Quim Torra describing the task as a "formidable challenge" and praising the casteller community for its "commitment" to the country.

Also present at the event were the culture minister Maria Àngela Vilallonga, the president of Catalonia's association of castellers Roger Gispert, and the head of Editorial Cossetània Jordi Ferré, along with representatives from some 30 casteller groups.