Iglesia de San Saturnino (San Cernin)
Church in Pamplona
The church of San Saturnino , more commonly called San Cernin, is a Catholic church in the Old Quarter of the city of Pamplona.
The building dates from the 13th century, but archaeological work shows there were at least two other churches on the same site previously. It was not only the religious centre of its borough. Its two tall towers, and its powerful and thick walls, betray it in its other function: a military and defensive fortress in the usual fights that were fought between residents of the different medieval towns that now make up Pamplona.
The church’s two towers often adorn postcard images of Pamplona, and the clock tower is the centre of attention on the 6th of July when it counts the start of the San Fermín at noon.
The medieval configuration of Pamplona was made up of three neighbourhoods: the town of San Cernin, the city of Navarrería and the town of San Nicolás. The origins of the borough of San Cernin date back to the end of the 11th century, to the episcopate of Don Pedro de Roda, when people from France , from Cahors – says the Chronicle of the Prince of Viana – settled and built their homes in the flat area located between the episcopal city, formed around the cathedral – the city of Navarrería – and the open countryside to the west. The relations of the Franks of the borough of San Cernin with the inhabitants of Navarrería were not cordial; in fact each borough surrounded itself with its own walls, and the cathedral was far away, which made it necessary to build a church according to French fashion and with a Provençal invocation, Saint Cernin, like Saint-Sernin de Tolouse (France).
Visiting Iglesia de San Saturnino (San Cernin)