The human pyramid contest returns to Spain

The human pyramid contest returns to Spain
Credit: Belga

For the first time since the pandemic, the Spanish city of Tarragona on Sunday organised its famous human pyramid competition, in which teams try to build towers of up to 10 levels to win the title of best 'castells'.

This popular event normally takes place every two years in the former bullring of the Mediterranean city. This year's winners were from Vilafranca, a town famous for its human pyramids, according to Diario de Tarragona newspaper.

The custom has a long tradition in Catalonia, in the northeast of Spain, where human towers are part of many municipal festivals. It has also received the status of intangible cultural heritage from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO.

Although towers sometimes collapse, participants are rarely injured. In its 200-year history, the custom has claimed only five lives, according to Spanish media.

Much of the training is devoted to preventing the human pyramid from collapsing. Moreover, those at its base are also trained to catch the others.


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