Kings of their Spanish Castles

Its motto is ‘Strength, balance, courage and common sense’ and participants need to have all of these when taking part in one of the most popular events in Spanish culture.

‘Concurs de Castells,’ the Human Tower competition, attracts thousands of spectators who cheer on the teams of people climbing over each other in an effort to make the tallest tower in the competition.

The event is taken very seriously in Tarragona, southern Spain; the tradition is believed to have been around since the 18th century, started by dance groups, and has been named as part of the Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage established by Unesco.

Each team taking part, some of which have 500 participants clamber onto each other, strongest at the bottom and the lightest at the most dangerous point at the top, to form Castells. A seven strong judging panel gives out points depending on the height and difficulty of the individual towers.

Each team is allowed five attempts to build the tallest tower, the final score for each team is decided by the best three attempts and the winner is decided by competition organisers, known as experts in human towers.

The event takes place every two years, the next one, XXIV Concurs de Castells de Tarragona, is scheduled for October this year.

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