The Castellers of Barcelona were founded in 1969, which makes this year their 45th anniversary. They are going to celebrate the event in Plaça Sant Jaume on 8 June. There is also an exhibition commemorating their anniversary at the Casa dels Entremesos, which reviews the history of the city’s castellers.
This year, the Castellers of Barcelona are celebrating the 45th anniversary of their foundation in 1969. Although they will be celebrating this landmark all year, this June they will be gathering once again in Plaça Sant Jaume, accompanied by the Miñons of Terrassa and the Castellers of Sabadell as special guests. The Castellers of Barcelona are the oldest casteller group in the city and in the last 45 years they have managed to complete hundreds of human pyramids all over Cafalonia and Europe. Some of the activities forming part of these 45th.anniversary celebrations include sports championships for young castellers, concerts and competitions. There will also be various exhibitions where you will be able to see part of the history of the castellers.
La Casa dels Entremesos, in Plaça de les Beates Nº3, in Ciutat Vella, is showing an exhibition on the Castellers of Barcelona’s 45th anniversary. There are images and photographs of the group, their historic achievements over the years, their equipment and various prizes and awards that they have won over 45 years. These include the City of Barcelona Gold Medal and the Sant Jordi Cross. , Ramon Morentin, the chairman of the Castellers of Barcelona, spoke about his group’s best achievement: “Our best performance so far is the triple, which means achieving a 3 and 9, a 4 and 9 and a 5 and 8 in a single performance. And we achieved that last year”.
Casteller groups have evolved a lot over the years, and what was once done off the cuff is now studied in every detail. Safety, heights and weights are key factors for achieving good human pyramids without hurting yourself or putting anyone at risk. In this sense, Salvador Pons, who has been a member of the Castellers of Barcelona for nearly 20 years, explains that “casteller groups used to be more rough and ready, and nowadays they are more technical. Nowadays, we control people’s heights and weights and the pinya and folre [structure] is prepared on a computer. Then we start climbing up”. The enxanetes climb up high. They are the ones who are responsible for raising their hands at the top of the pyramid to show that it has been successfully completed. Laia is one of the Castellers of Barcelona’s enxanetes. She is only 6 years old, and she knows exactly what she has to do: “I have to climb up hugging the castell, and do what the youth leader and the group leader say. Make precise movements and not weigh very much.”
The origins, in El Vendrell
The Castellers of Barcelona started off in El Vendrell in 1969, when seven Barcelona casteller enthusiasts went there to make a castell [human pyramid]. “The beginning was very nice, really great. We remember it as the Magnificent Seven, because the seven of them went to El Vendrell 45 years ago. In front of all the groups that existed at that time, which was only four, they said that they were from Barcelona and that they wanted to make a pilar. The other groups were a bit surprised and the Vella de Valls told us that if we wanted to make a pilar, then we would first have to try it out and then they would help us. We tried it out and that was our first castell.” explained Ramon Morentin, the chairman of the Castellers. This was the beginning of one of the country’s great casteller groups. Although it is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, they are only thinking about the future and how to continue growing.
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