First ‘human towers’ in Barcelona since the pandemic

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The town of Valls in Catalonia on Sunday hosted its first traditional “castell” – or human tower – event without crowd limits or other virus measures since the start of the pandemic.

The spectacle – held on the occasion of the Santa Úrsula festival – was a welcome return to normality for locals.

The “castells” of the Catalonia region are one of the area’s oldest and strongest traditions.

In accordance with local regulations, all entrances to the square were open and there were no limits on numbers, although the ‘castellers’ were obliged to wear face masks during the performance.

The tradition of building human towers or “castells” dates back to the 18th century and takes place during festivals in Catalonia, where “colles” or teams compete to build the tallest and most complicated towers.

“Castells” have been declared one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

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