Concluding a week where Human Castles have been the most predominant feature of the city as part of the Setmana dels Castells, a last showdown took place at the Serrallo, the fishing port of Tarragona.
Plaça Magi was the stage of much drama, tension, and euphoric explosions as three groups, the Colla Xiquets del Serrallo de Tarragona, the Colla Castellers Xiquets de Tarragona and their arch rivals, and currently must successful group of human castles in Catalonia, the Castellers de Vilafranca battled it out for the best completion.
The event also coincided with the final day of the yearly celebrations of San Pere (Sant Peter) the patron of fishermen, which Tarragon Blog will cover in full detail next year including the next edition of the Setmana dels Castells (missed out due to other commitments!).
The square was packed the midday sun and heating up like a calderon, with the shady area cast by the trees being the premium spot for the thousand of people watching. There was little room to move or breathe but the human castles kept rising; first the blue shirt for the Colla Xiquets del Serrallo, a group born 25 years ago. 140 strong. The were followed by the Colla Castellers Xiquets de Tarragona, the oldest colla of all, with their red and white striped shirts. Last came the the Castellers de Vilafranca, the winner of last years Castellers Competitions, back from touring London, having just appeared at the Concert per la Libertat held at the Camp Nou football stadium in Barcelona attended by ninety thousand people.
Accompanied by their own grallas, playing the unmistakable strident tune that announces the making of another human tower, each rose up like a strange organic flower reaching for the sun. Most castells were completed but some collapsed under the share weight and heat, with one participant carried away by ambulance. Yet that is the beauty of this ephemeral acts, anything can happen and it bring people from all ages and background together to build one powerful and unique physical statement. It has passion, drama, jubilation, combining strength, architecture, concentration and agility to make something uniquely Catalan that takes your breath away.