Spanish Castle Magic: living towers made of humans

[Video Link]

Video by Mike Randolph:

In the city of Tarragona, Spain, castellers gather every two years to see who can build the highest, most intricate human castles. This uniquely Catalan tradition requires astonishing strength, finesse, and balance. Not to mention courage.
Here are more photos of this amazing sport.

(thanks, Clayton Cubitt)


  1. Wow. That tower with the seafoam green-shirted, white-pantsed crew. You see the helmeted kids clambering down at around 1:16. At that point, the four top layers of the tower contain 16 people. Some are small 45-pound kids, the rest have to be 100-pound (at least) teens.

    If the average weight of those 16 people is 75 pounds, then the four people down on layer #5 are each supporting 300 lbs on their shoulders. And I bet it’s more than that.

    I think I sprained something just watching that. Amazing!

  2. Do they have any cultural activities that don’t involved sharp lessons in gravity, conflagrations or angry bovines?

        1. It’s all a lot of fun until they start strapping themselves into vast humanoid conformations and beating the snot out of each other.

  3. Universal healthcare!
    Photos are so deceiving since in reality it’s all about the shaking & straining & vibrating.

  4. Watching this all I can see are compressed discs. No one’s spine should be put under that much pressure. As a parent I’d be a little apprehensive about letting my kid climb to the top.

  5. Okay, it looks dangerous as heck. But there is something unusual and heartwarming in seeing adult men and women, teenagers and little kids all working together, equally, for a common goal.

    That and it demands an impressive amount of strenght and focus from all involved. Wow!

  6. While I hope no one was seriously injured, I have to admit that the collapses were pretty awesome to watch.

  7. The Berbers in Morocco do similar kinds of acrobatic stunts as entertainment. Maybe not quite as big a tower, but I’ve seen five or six guys all climb into various arrangements; it’s really impressive. Moroccan restaurants may have belly dancers because that’s what the tourists want, but the acrobatics are more traditional.

  8. It’s culturally Catalan, not Spanish. Spain is a state comprising several countries with different cultures (and languages).

  9. All the peoples of the Iberian peninsula have a astounding disregard for the Laws of Thermodynamics. We are that cool.

  10. BoingBoing posted a great video a couple weeks ago of a young girl going up one of these towers with a camera on her helmet(?). Does anyone remember where that was? I can’t find it.

      1. Wow, that was a totally different video from the one that BoingBoing posted. I guess a bunch of people had that idea.

  11. This would never, ever happen in the US, and I don’t even think the Texas A&M bonfire collapse would have been necessary for this state of affairs.

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