Making castells dates back over 200 years. Originally from the Tarragona area - specifically in Valls, the town where the idea was born - the world of castells has become increasingly popular over the last few years. A number of towns have started to adopt this festive display, spreading the practice to practically the whole of Catalonia and other Catalan-speaking areas, such as the Balearic Islands or the south of France. Over 8,000 castellers, as human tower participants are known, belonging to more than 60 colles, or registered groups, rehearse their constructions every week so they can reproduce them at the performances that normally take place at weekends. Around 8,000 castells are raised every year.
Castells were born towards the end of the XVIIIth century and the start of the XIXth in Valls, evolving from a popular dance called Ball de Valencians, that ended with the building of a human tower. During the second half of the XIXth century they lived its first Golden Age, when the first nine-floor towers were build. Still with the arrival of the XXth century castells nearly disappeared for a while (the period known as Decadence), until the creation of colles (teams) outside of Valls in 1926. The arrival of democracy and autonomous government for Catalonia at the end of the 70s strenghed human towers, and by the 90s they lived a real popularity explosion, with colles being created around the countr, the achievement of the most difficult towers and media attention.