Types of Castells

Not all castells are the same. The name of the structure is determined by two parameters:

  • width or number of castellers on each level of the trunk. This indicates the rengles (pillars) each level of the trunk consists of.
  • height or the number of levels. The minimum number of levels a structure must have to be considered as a castell is six, except for pillars, which are made with four levels and upwards.

In such a way, a 4of6 for example, means that the trunk is made of 4 castellers at each level (except from the pom de dalt) and that consists of 6 levels.

Castells can be divided in two main groups: simple structures and complex structure.

SIMPLE STRUCTURES

They consist of one, two, three or four castellers per level.

Pilar (Pillar)

This structure has one casteller per level. In a pillar, each casteller in the trunk holds with his arms the casteller above. This is the only structure in which the pom de dalt of a pillar is only formed by the enxaneta, there are no dosos or acotxador.

The pillar is crowned when the enxaneta raises on of his/her arms and places the other on his/her waist.

Dos or Torre (Two or Tower)

This structure has two castellers per level. The pom de dalt is formed by four castellers: a pair of dosos, the acotxador and the enxaneta. The torre is the only structure in which the dosos stand in the same position as the rest of the trunk, i.e. the dosos place both feet on the shoulders of the casteller in the level below. The acotxador and the enxaneta, climb on different “pillars” called rengles and after doing the aleta at the top of the castell, they cross and come down on the opposite rengla.

Tres (Three)

This structure is formed of three castellers per level holding each other forming a circle. Each of the pillars have a specific name depending on the castellers that climb on it:

  • Rengla – the middle pillar where the dos tancat climbs.

The dos tancat takes the same position as the casteller in the level below placing both feet on his/her shoulders.

  • Plena or dreta – the pillar on the right hand side of the rengla where the dos obert and enxaneta climb.

The dos obert takes and open position by placing one foot on each remaining pillars. The dos obert climbs and goes down on the plena and the enxaneta climbs on the plena and goes down the rengla.

  • Buida or esquerra – the pillar on the left hand side of the rengla where the acotxador climbs.

Quatre (Four)

This structure is formed of four castellers per level forming a square.

In the trunk, the castellers of each level don’t take each other arms but take the ankle or lower part of the leg of the castellers that stand on the sides of the level above.

The pom de dalt is made of four castellers: a pair of dosos, the aixecador and the enxaneta. The dosos place themselves in an open position (dos obert) by placing their feet on the shoulders of two different castells. Each dos climbs and goes down on a specific rengla whereas the aixecador and enxaneta climb and go down on opposite rengles and cross at the top of the castell. This makes this castell more stable than a three as the weight is better balanced.

COMPLEX STRUCTURES

With more than four castellers per level, complex structures are made of combinations of simple structures.

Cinc (Five)

This structure is formed of five castellers per level. It is made of a structure of three and a torre that is attached to the rengla of the three.

This structure has two poms de dalt: the pom de dalt of the three and the pom de dalt of the torre. It is made of seven castellers in total: two pairs of dosos, two aixecadors and one enxaneta. The pom de dalt of the three is as per a normal three and consists of a pair of dosos, the aixecador and the enxaneta. The pom de dalt of the torre is made of a pair of dosos which hold each other with one arm and hold the dos of the rengla of the pom de dalt of the three with the other arm. In this structure, there is only one enxaneta which first crowns the three and then the torre.

The entrance and exit of the dosos and the acotxadors are as per a normal three and a torre. The only difference in this structure is the enxaneta who climbs up on the plena, does first the aleta on the three, then moves on the aixecador of the torre and does the second aleta and comes down on the pillar of the torre that is on the left hand side from where has climbed.

Castells amb l'agulla (human towers with pillar)

This structure is made of the combination of a castell with a pillar in the middle.

These structures consist of three building stages:

  1. the castle and the pillar are raised simultaneously. The pillar is built without the last level since the last level is made with the enxaneta or aixecador from the main castell.
  2. the main castle is crowned and starts coming down, At that point, the enxaneta or acotxador of the main castle move inside the pillar and crown it.
  3. as soon as the segons of the main castell let their arms go and the segon of the pillar is left net on the pinya, it is considered that the castell is officially crowned.

Set (Seven)

This structure is formed of seven castellers per level. It is made of a structure of four and a three that is attached to one of the renglas of the three.

Nou (Nine)

This structure is formed of nine castellers per level. It is made of a three that is left at the centre of the structure and three torres, each one attached to a pillar of the three.

This structure has three poms de dalt and is made of three pairs of dosos, three aixecadors and one aixeneta that crowns the three poms and therefore does the aleta three times.

OTHER STRUCTURES

These are human towers which, despite having a simple structure, stand out because of the way they are raised or because they lack some usual support base.

Aixecats per Sota (Lifted up)

The structures that normally are built following the technique of lifting are the pillar and the three.

Pillar per sota

First the enxaneta is placed on the shoulders of the casteller in the level below. Then the casteller in the next level below kneel on one knee in front of the other two. The lifters then lift the upper levels and place them on top of the last casteller. The castellers that get into the pinya to be lifted are lifted by being grabbed by their underarm and the faixa.

Once the entire pillar is lifted, the pinya closes and the enxaneta does the aleta and the castell is considered crowned. The pillars per sota are brought down following the inverse procedure.

Three per sota

First the acotxador is placed on the level of the dosos which are standing on the ground. The dosos are lifted and placed on top of the last level of the trunk. Next, the following levels of the castell are lifted in a similar way as done with the pillar. As soon as the baixos are lifted, the pinya closes and the enxaneta crowns the castell.

Castells Nets (Castells without a Base)

These structures follow the same technique as the normal castells with the difference that the castells nets have no support of a pinya, leaving the baixos and the segons without support. Normally, most of the castellers of the pinya take the same positions as they would in a normal castells but without touching the castell.