Castells - Human Towers

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What is intangible cultural heritage and who decides what should be on that list?

This is a definition written in my own words.

My Culture

The intangible cultural heritage of Castells come from the Catalonian culture in Spain. Castells involve a large group of people gathering together to support a tower of human bodies. The word translated into English means castle because people build a castle shaped structure out of their bodies. This activity has been around since at least 1712. The motto is "Força, equilibri, valor i seny" which means strength, balance, courage and common sense as these are the qualities people learn when they take part.

Small children often are responsible for being on the top layer of the Castell. They wear a safety helmet to protect them if they fall. No-one else wears safety helmets although the tight band around their waist which makes up the traditional costume supports their backs and keeps them standing strong.

Different numbers of people are involved in creating a Castell. This changes depending on the height. The base/support level involves several hundred people then there could be between 1-5 people on each layer with it reaching up to 12 layers high.

Castell aquàtic dels Castellers de Barcelona - " 4 de 7 net " al Palau Sant Jordi

Would I want to see this?

If I was a tourist in this country I would be interested in seeing a Castell being build. It sounds like an event which takes a lot of time and effort and is not something we see in New Zealand. I would probably pay some money too see this as the competitions look like fun events and a bit like sport. I would pay money to go and see sport so I would happily pay to see this.


Breathtaking Images of Human Towers at the 25th Tarragona Castells Competition in Catalonia, Spain. (2014, October 6). Retrieved November 10, 2015, from

Castellers - the human towers. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2015, from

Intangible Cultural Heritage. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2015, from

The Castells of Catalonia: Inside the Incredible Art of Human Towers. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2015, from