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Gathering of Castellers at the Sagrada Familia


Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família
Mallorca, 401 | 08013 Barcelona

It was Gaudí himself who, in conversations with the architect Cèsar Martinell, established a parallel between the towers of the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família and those of the castellers of Valls. The system for building the towers of the temple obeys same law of balance as do the human towers of castells; both start with a solid base that gets lighter as it gets higher, which provides great stability. The human tower uses a system of weight bearing in which the elements that bear weight and those that are born become a single entity. Legs spread, widening the base, and arms linked create a mesh that is equivalent to that which is provided in architecture by bricks and cement. So, the curve of balance of a castell coincides with the silhouette of a tower of the temple. In fact, if we place a tower of the Sagrada Família over the photograph of a castell –as appears in Martinell’s book Gaudí i la Sagrada Família (Gaudí and the Sagrada Família)– we will see the coincidences, as well as seeing that the relationship between the empty spaces and the occupied ones, between what is structure and what is form, is very similar.

This encounter will draw together over thirty groups of castellers from Catalonia, within the framework of the Festivals of the Mercé; it will, therefore, also be an homage to Gaudí’s admiration of this kind of human buildings. For this reason, the different groups will raise towers that will surround the Sagrada Família building and the participants, with their shirts, will make up a drawing of a trencadís (a mosaic of broken ceramic pieces).

Organization: Institut de Cultura. Ajuntament de Barcelona



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