Barcelona Photoblog: Giants at Monistrol de Montserrat near Barcelona

Friday, November 3, 2006

Giants at Monistrol de Montserrat near Barcelona

Giants at Monistrol de Montserrat

You probably have seen them in pictures. They are omnipresent in our traditional celebrations making children laugh or panic. They are the giants (gegants - cat.). I can never tell which character they represent. Women mostly represent queens, princesses or important ladies and men may be kings, catholic or moor but also just warriors. Of course you can find all sorts of other characters such as peasants, old people...Some say they are documented as far back as the XIV century, and that they first appeared as male characters. Later came women in the XVI century (discriminated as usual). Giants are made of papier mâché, sustained by a frame of wood to raise it from the inside. Carriers are organized in groups or associations called colles. Remember that there are also small figures called capgrossos (big heads - literally.) This picture was taken just in front of the town hall (ajuntament) at Monistrol de Montserrat. If you want to see them in action check this wonderful videos: Gegants at YouTube


  1. The details on her costume are wonderful and I love her hankerchief poised just so.

  2. Anonymous9:46 AM

    i agree with felicia. Not a details left out. From youtube they look erm..freaky though .

  3. Thanks Felicia. I like the costume details too, mainly the fabric they used.
    Hahaha, thanks Kris. I saw some of those, and I have to accept that they look freaky-), kind of pagan ritual style. They have a lot of Mediterranean culture and history behind.

  4. Anonymous10:17 AM

    they look wonderful...thank you for the detailed description and the videos are great. I love traditional puppets and these giants are really amazing.

  5. My pleasure Zsolt. Thanks for coming.

  6. Anonymous3:20 PM

    Great post, Carlos. Loved the videos. The music, is it Sardanes?

  7. Thanks luggi. They are noisy amateur videos, but that's what makes it more fun to watch. They look quite similar, as there's not much you can do with a puppet this size on your shoulders. The scenario reminds me of some old Italian movies too, call me crazy if you like. LOL
    PS: I suppose they are sardanes (thank for pointing this out) because they sound the same, although I am not an expert.


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