· 199 Spanish acrobats gathered in Hangzhou, China to perform the traditional art of ‘castell’
· Stunning pictures show how the incredible eight-storey high human tower gradually came to life
· The death-defying stunt was part of the Spanish Cultural Carnival, and took a mere three and a half minutes
· The UNESCO-listed art form is originated in Catalonia in the 18th century
China has the highest number of tall buildings in the world, and on Friday it also played host to a skyscraper of a more fleshy variety.
A total of 199 daredevil Spaniards took part in the traditional art of ‘castell’ – human tower building – at the Spanish Cultural Carnival in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, the People’s Daily Online reported.
The fearless acrobats, all clad in red t-shirts and white trousers, took a mere three and a half minutes to create a breathtaking human tower.
While the eight-storey tall construction did not break any world records, it did thrill Chinese locals, who came to the carnival to immerse themselves in Spanish culture.
The performers, or ‘castellers,’ create a strong, dense base before building triangular storeys, with each layer of three people climbing atop each other’s shoulders.
As a finishing touch, one young casteller climbs to the top of the tower and strikes a jubilant pose.
The ancient tradition of castell dates back to the 18th century, when teams, or ‘colles’, would compete to build the tallest and most complex towers at festivals in their native Catalonia.
A castell is considered to be successful when it can be loaded and unloaded with people without falling apart.
The highest castell on record is a 10-storey high tower.
In 2010 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared castells to be ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity,’ encouraging Spaniards to celebrate and maintain the art.
Fittingly, the West Lake, where this castell was built near, has also been recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The lake, which is Hangzhou’s most notable attraction, has inspired famous poets, scholars and artists since the ninth century, and comprises numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees, as well as causeways and artificial islands.
Hangzhou’s Spanish Cultural Carnival, which runs from July 3 to July 6, will also feature a breathtaking heart sculpture installation.
Life-size bull sculptures painted by professors and students from China Academy are also on display.
Hangzhou has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium, due in part to its beautiful natural scenery.
Source: Daily Mail