Last works on the human towers museum of Catalonia

May 17, 2017 07:58 PM | ACN / Marieta Figueras Bonachi

“Strength, balance, courage, and sanity” are the four key elements that guide the new Human Tower Museum of Catalonia in Valls, 100 km south of Barcelona. This ambitious project, aims to become a reference for the human tower world. All that is on show at the moment is indoor equipment with the most spectacular set ups: latest videos, support tools, and interactive games. The aim of its creator, Ignasi Cristià, who has designed the space for both experts from the ‘castells’ world and for the more inexpert public as well, is to create a new space for explaining human towers.

Catalan culture fills London’s Borough Market on Sant Jordi

April 23, 2017 07:55 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

London’s Borough Market hosted the celebration of Sant Jordi’s Day in the British capital. Like all over Catalonia, stalls selling books and roses colored one of the most iconic spots in the city, complete with Catalan food tasting, storytelling, traditional human towers (Castellers) and a mix of both Catalan and English folklore. The Delegation of the Catalan Government to the UK and Ireland, together with the Catalan community in the UK, the Tourism Office, and Institut Ramon Llull London, which promotes Catalan culture and literature, also took part in the celebrations and had their own stalls at the market. 


Wide international coverage of 26th edition of the Castells Competition

October 4, 2016 06:46 PM | ACN / Marina Force

Impressive aerial shots showing the riot of colour on display at the 26th edition of the Castells Competition in Tarragona, southern Catalonia, have travelled around the world. Media outlets such as the BBC, Russia Today and The Los Angeles Times published videos, pictures and articles on the contest. Catalonia’s ‘human tower’ competition, ‘Concurs de Castells’, took place at Tarraco Arena Place, an old bullring, attracting 20,000 spectators and 32 teams. The biennial event saw one group, ‘Els castellers de Vilafranca’, secure its eighth title on the trot. However, one of the most applauded performances was that of the Chinese team ‘Els Xiquets de Hangzhou’, the first ever international team to compete at the contest. Around 380 professionals from 120 different media outlets covered the event on Saturday and Sunday. 

The Castells Competition is back, and it’s more international than ever

September 28, 2016 12:51 PM | ACN

More than 120 media outlets will cover the 26th edition of the Castells Competition, taking place this weekend at the Tàrraco Arena Place, an old bullring located in Tarragona, southern Catalonia. This year’s edition will become an international window for Catalan culture as 380 journalists from China, Australia, United Kingdom, America and all around the globe have been accredited and will witness the event. 32 human tower groups (‘colles’) will perform, one of them from China: the Children of Hangzhou. Tarragona’s Mayor, Josep Fèlix Ballesteros, stated that this international media presence proves that the impact of castells “goes beyond our territory and is global”. More than 25,000 people will attend the competition this weekend, in an edition that is expected to be the most international and historic one, due to the high level of the human tower groups. 

Inside a Catalan 'castell'

July 5, 2016 03:12 PM | ACN / Virginia Scherer

A common sight at Catalan festivals, ‘castells’ can be up to 10 human storeys high, with a small child usually being placed on the top. Teams compete to create the most elaborate construction, in a tradition which is believed to date back to the 18th Century. It is one of Catalonia's more unusual spectacles and since being declared a UNESCO element of Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2010, interest in ‘castells’ has grown beyond Catalonia. Many ‘castellers’ groups have performed abroad in cities such as Shanghai, New York, Montreal, London and many others and new groups are even emerging outside of Catalonia. While most observe this tradition from the outside, we got up close to take a peek at the inside.

First international castells exhibition to be held in London this weekend

June 17, 2016 10:45 AM | Sara Prim / Laerke Saura

The Castellers of London will receive the French group Castellers de París from the 17th to the 19th of June to celebrate the first international encounter for this traditional human towers. Both groups will offer performances in the city during the weekend, with the aim of strengthening the relationship between the groups and showing off human castles to an international public.  “We want to do regular international exhibitions, like the encounters between castells that are held constantly in Catalonia”, explained Marc Pujol, member of Casellers of London. International castells groups have been flourishing around the world lately, coming to London, Paris, Chile and China, and this event will be an attempt to establish a close relationship between the different groups worldwide. The activities will be held in different locations of London, one of the most expected to be held at London’s Old Spitalfields Market

Europe's tallest building wants to offer 'Castellers' on its top floor

December 7, 2015 04:31 PM | Sara Prim

London's Shard, in the Tower Bridge area, is Europe's tallest building. Its viewpoint, located on the 72nd floor, opened its doors in 2013 and has offered a wide range of events since then: silent discos, winter experiences and in the near future a very ambitious project: a traditional Catalan human tower performance. "The image would be amazing" stated 'The View from the Shard's marketing head Anna Domingo. Although she admits that there is not yet a specific date, she declared to CNA that they are "working very tight" with the Delegation of the Catalan Government to the UK "to promote the Catalan culture also from here". In 2012, Castellers de Vilafranca, one of the most iconic group of Castellers, displayed a tower on the 20th floor of a building located right in front of New York's Empire State building.

‘Castellers’ celebrate 5 years as UNESCO element of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

November 17, 2015 03:47 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Catalan human towers, ‘Castellers’, celebrated Monday their fifth anniversary of their recognition by UNESCO as an element of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The ‘Castellers’ community had been awaiting the committee’s decision for years, as the candidature was first submitted in 2007. “The number of ‘Castellers’ groups has increased by 30% in the last five years, totalling 97 groups all over Catalonia”, stated ‘Castellers’ Groups Coordination president Maria Cortès, “our goal is not to reach 100 groups, but to make higher, stronger and safer ‘castells’ each time”. Cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’s top member, Raül Romeva, also attended the event, as he is also a member of a group of Castellers. “Castellers teach us that things must be done well, in an organised way and to add to each other, as everybody has their role” he declared in an interview, probably in reference to the negotiations between pro-independence forces ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and CUP.

First Catalan cultural week in Shanghai attracts 73,000 people

November 10, 2015 12:37 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

‘Barcelona Catalonia Culture Week’, the first Catalan cultural week organised in Shanghai awoke the interest of 73,000 people. Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Catalan Society ‘Casal Català de Xangai’ and 15 years since the twinning of Barcelona and Shanghai, China’s financial capital hosted more than 30 activities to present Catalonia’s cultural heritage to the local audience. International icons such as surrealist painter Salvador Dalíand architect Antoni Gaudíwere the centre of some of the art exhibitions. Another key point of the programme was the participation of ‘Castellers de Vilafranca’, whom displayed Catalan human towers all around the city. “This initiative introduces Catalonia to China’s collective imagination”stated the Catalan Institute of China’s President, Alexis Roig, and is the result of “a joint effort from civil society, companies and the Catalan institutions”.