Tarragona, city of 'castells' (human towers)

Xiquets de Tarragona / ©Rafael López-Monné

Tarragona will be hosting, from June 24th till 30th, the 1st Setmana Castellera (Human towers’ Week); a whole new event of tourist interest born with a will of both achieving a certain tourist popularity and positioning, and capitalizing, at the same time, the main cultural and traditional sources of our country, the ‘castells’, declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage asset.

Tarragona, city of ‘castells’’ will include several activities: castells exhibitions, shows, conferences, casteller dinners and vermouts and, as a brand new experience, several tours around the main castells squares, and visits to the actual ‘Colla de Castellers Xiquets de Tarragona’ and ‘Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona’ rehearsals.

Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona / ©Rafael López-Monné

This initiative will also entail yet another diada (castells event), to be held on Saturday June 29 (‘Plaça del Rei’, 7pm) with the ‘Xiquets de Tarragona’ and ‘Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona’ performances. The ‘Xiquets del Serrallo’ and ‘Castellers de Sant Pere i Sant Pau’, also taking part in the above mentioned event, and most provably actively performing in the so called diada next year, will have a specific area for them to shine. The ones on the ‘green shirt’ (‘Castellers de Sant Pere i Sant Pau’) will be performing on Tuesday June 25 at the ‘Pla de la Seu’, right in front of Tarragona’s Cathedral; on the other hand, the ones on the ‘blue shirt’ (‘Xiquets del Serrallo’) will be performing on Sunday June 30 at their own area’s main square, together with the ‘Xiquets de Tarragona’ and ‘Castellers de Vilafranca’.

The start for ‘Tarragona, ciutat de ‘castells’’ will be the traditional diada of ‘Sant Joan’, on Monday June 24 (‘Plaça de la Font’, at 7pm), and will involve all four Tarragona colles (teams).

Mans agafant els segons / ©Rafael Ló—pez-MonnéŽ

Throughout the castells week, two exhibitions will also be available for everyone to enjoy: the first one, at the ‘Pati Jaume I’, inside Tarragona’s town hall, with the graphic storyline ‘Tarragona, a story of ‘castells’’; the second one, by David Oliete, at the ‘Espai Turisme’ (carrer Major, 36): ‘El cel dels ‘castells’’ will combine pictures with an audiovisual presentation.

On top of this, and in order to get to experience what taking part of a colla actually means, a guided tour –‘Tarragona, ciutat de ‘castells’– will be held in the mornings at 11am, taking visitors to the most important castells squares in the city, while letting them know about anecdotes and stories regarding this traditional practice. These tours will end with a vermout at the ‘Plaça de la Font’.

Xiquets del Serrallo / ©Rafael López-Monné

The manager for the ‘Coordinadora de Colles Castelleres de Catalunya (CCCC), who is both part of the ‘Nens del Vendrell’ colla, and dean of the ‘Facultat de Dret de la URV’, Alfonso González, will talk on June 27 about ‘Els ‘castells’ i el turisme’, at the ‘Espai Turisme’.

Alegria dels Castellers de Sant Pere i Sant Pau / ©Rafael López-Monné

Finally, it is worth mentioning that added to the first ‘Tarragona, ciutat de ‘castells’’ release, the rehearsal events schedule –including a guided tour and optional dinner– will also be offered for sale, with both the ‘Xiquets de Tarragona’ and the ‘Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona’. Attending to such rehearsals, held every Tuesday on July and August, from 8.30pm till 10pm, will have a cost of just 9€, being completely free for kids under 12. ‘Rehearsal + dinner’ pack prices are up to 25€ for adults, and 15€ for kids. Tours will be available in Catalan, Spanish, English and French.

Tarragona, ciutat de castells_PDF

Text: Ivan Rodon (@irodon)
Translated by Artur Santos (@artur_1983)
Fotografies: Rafael López-Monné (@lopezmonne)