Known mainly for its Running of the bulls festival, Pamplona has much more to offer. From Navarrese capital’s cultural identity to being one of Spain’s greenest cities. This tour will take you around its main attractions and historic buildings.
Catedral de Santa María la Real
From the small plaza outside the cathedral head away from it down Calle Navarria, past the Albergue Plaza Catedral. Turn left into Calle Carmen and first right down Calle Aldapa. Follow the stone wall around the church to see the Palace of the Kings of Navarra.
Pamplonas Cathedral is located just inside the ancient town walls of the Casco Viejo. It was built—over 150 years during the 14th and 15th centuries – which explains the variety of architectural influences that you can seen, from its neoclassical facade to the Gothic cloister and the interior Renaissance motifs. The cathedral was built in honour of the monarchs of Navarre, many of whom are interred in the crypt underneath the temple. The Cathedral houses a Diocesan museum, where visitors will find a stunning collection of religious artefacts from churches from the region.Read more about the Catedral de Pamplona
Palace of the Kings of Navarra
Opposite the Archive is the Iglesia de San Fermín de Aldapa.
The building in front of you that now houses the Royal and General Archive of Navarra what was once the Palace of the Kings of Navarra. It is one of the oldest and most emblematic historical buildings in Navarra. Its origins date back to the 12th century, it served as a residence in medieval times for the bishops of Pamplona and the monarchs of this old Kingdom.
Towards 1530, it happened to be inhabited by the viceroys and from 1841 by the captains general.Read more about the Royal and General Archive of Navarra (Palacio de los Virreyes)
San Fermín de Aldapa
Walk behind the Palace of the Kings of Navarra to walk along the old city walls of Pamplona. There are great views of the ciyy and the River Arga on you left as you walk towards the French Gate.
There is evidence of the existence of this church since medieval times, built in the place where, according to tradition, was the birthplace of San Fermín. Beneath the church’s sacristy a Roman mosaic and part of a thermal bath was found.Read more about the San Fermín de Aldapa
Portal de Francia
The Portal de Francia or Portal de Zumalacárregui, is one of the best preserved Old City Gates.Read more about the Portal de Francia, Pamplona
Mirador del Caballo Blanco
Walk along the Paseo del Redín to the Mirador del Caballo Blanco. The views are considered the best in the city, you can see the neighborhoods of La Rochapea, Chantrea and San Jorge, and in the background Mount San Cristóbal with its abandoned fort on the highest part.
The Baluarte del Redín (Bastion of Redín) was considered the best defensive point in the city and the most inaccessible of the entire walled complex. By having a star shape with three points, the cannons could cover all angles of fire. At each end of the star there is a sentry box of Renaissance design, the same as those of the Ronda Barbazana.
Baluarte del Redín – Erredineko GotorlekuaRead more about the Mirador de Caballo Blanco
Centro de Interpretación de las Fortificaciones de Pamplona
Carry on walking along the Ronda Obispo Barbazán on the city walls with the catedral on your right. The charming cobblestone walk has been has been called the Ronda del Obispo Barbazán since 1961, in honour of the French clergyman Arnaldo de Barbazán, who, was in charge of the bishopric of Pamplona back in the 14th century. His body, in fact, is buried in the Pamplona cathedral, in a charming chapel that bears his name. At the end of your walk you come to the Baluarte de Labrit.
The Baluarte de Labrit named after Juan de Labrit, the last monarch of sovereign Navarre, with its capital in Pamplona, who fled through this gate in the face of the imminent arrival of the invading troops in July 1512. Barely four months later, he tried to retake the city, besieging it and trying to break in at the same point. look for the statue in the niche above the gate, which is a stone reproduction of Santa María la Real of Pamplona (Saint Mary the Royal of Pamplona).
Cross the bridge over the busy Calle Vergel to reach the Centro de Interpretación de las Fortificaciones de Pamplona.
Pamplona’s Fortifications’ Interpretation Center is located at the San Bartolomé Fort.
San Bartolomé Fort, belongs to an ambitious project created in 1726 by the engineer Verboom and only partly constructed in the 18th Century. In his design, the most exposed fronts of the city were reinforced with outworks similar to this one, which was also the last major work to be carried out on the defences of Pamplona. The fort together with the Bastion of Labrit were designed to defend the highly valued Mill of Caparroso below.
Located in the San Bartolomé fort, lies the Interpretation Center which provides all the information visitors need to discover the walls and the elements that form them, to learn about the strategies and defence systems of cities, and to understand the evolution of Pamplona over the centuries.Read more about the Centro De Interpretacion De Las Fortificaciones De Pamplona, Pamplona
Walk along towards the front of the Bullring passing a monument to Hemingway – who made Pamplona famous with his book “The Sun Also Rises” which is set here (if you like Hemingway then look for the Café Iruña on the Plaza del Castillo).
Plaza de Toros de Pamplona is a bullring in Pamplona, Spain. It is currently used for bull fighting. Built in 1922, the stadium holds 19,720 people. It is the end point of the famous Running of the bulls during the festival of San Fermín.Read more about the Plaza de Toros de Pamplona
Monumento al Encierro / Entzierroaren Oroitarria
Head across the road from the entrance to the Bull ring down the pedestrianised Av. Roncesvalles
The Monumento al Encierro is a larger than life ‘action’ sculpture depicting the famous running of the bulls. The details captured on both the animals and humans faces are most impressive.Read more about the Monumento Al Encierro
Ciudadela de Pamplona
Continue down the Av. Roncesvalles and cross over the road onto Calle García Ximénez. Walk alon gthe busy Av. del Ejército, with the Baluarte Jauregia auditorium on your right, until you reach the entrance to the Ciudadela de Pamplona.
The citadel of Pamplona or New Castle was built between the 16th and 17th centuries, under the reign of Felipe II, who commissioned the work to the Italian military engineer Fratín. Pentagonal in shape although out of its five bastions, only three remain (the other two are under the road you just crossed). During the 18th century, it was converted into a prison for illustrious men such as the Count of Floridablanca, the Marquis of Leganés, etc. Today it houses a park and several exhibition rooms.Read more about the Ciudadela de Pamplona
Jardines de la Taconera
Walk through the Look for the Puerta del Socorro and clockwise around the citadel. Cross directly over the Av. del Ejército and the Av. de Pío XII and walk back towards the old city with the Av. de Pío XII on your right. You pass the Portal de la Taconera, which stand in front of the Laguna de La Taconera (duck pond), and enter the park.
Taconera park is Pamplonas oldest, with early designs are from 1830. It is today a romantic park, with wide pedestrian paths, parterres, and sculptures. It also integrates the walled part that corresponds to the Gonzaga and Taconera bastions and the Revellín de San Roque, all considerably deteriorated, which represented the northwest limit of the Pamplona fortifications built in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The Taconera bastion, like that of Gonzaga, was built in the 17th century as a reinforcement of the new western front drawn after the construction of the citadel. Towards 1940 the bastion replaced its old crowning of gunboats with a stone parapet, since by then it had already become a promenade. The Gonzaga crescent, also called the San Roque ravelin, was built between 1675 and 1700 to reinforce the defense of the aforementioned bastions. It shows on one of its fronts the coat of arms of Viceroy Pignatelli.Read more about the La Taconera
Parroquia San Lorenzo
The Parish of San Lorenzo is a Catholic parish in the Old Quarter of the city of Pamplona, in Navarra . There are hardly any remains of its medieval ensemble from the 14th century and the most valuable architectural element today in addition to the main altar dedicated to San Lorenzo, the Chapel of San Fermín and the Chapel of La Dolorosa. San Fermin is the dark skinned Saint to whom the bull runs are dedicated and who sculpture is paraded through town.Read more about the Parroquia San Lorenzo
Ayuntamiento de Pamplona
From the Church of San Lorenzo head straight up Calle Mayor, as the street bends to the right it turns into Calle San Saturnino. Turn left at the Tourist Office.
Ayuntamiento de Pamplona is the City Hall building where the local city government is based. The building dates to as far back as the early 15th century. However today only the facade remains of the older building, while the rest was actually built in the 1950s. The Town Hall is located in a nice public square, called Plaza Consistorial, which is like a centre of the city, where various public and other activities take place. The iconic building built in 1423 is where a rocket gets launched every July 6th at noon, announcing the beginning of the famous San Fermin festival.Read more about the Ayuntamiento de Pamplona
Plaza del Castillo
Head up Calle Mercaderes and turn right down Calle de la Chapitela and you are soon at the Plaza del Castillo.
Plaza del Castillo (Castle Square) is the lively central square of Pamplona’s Old Town. Colourful and architecturally beautiful building surround the plaza along with numerous bars, cafes and restaurants – most featuring outdoor dining. There is a gazebo as well as plenty of benches to sit and relax. While away some time on the outdoor terraces of the bars and cafés set at the edge of the square. Ernest Hemingway was known to frequent bars such as Bar Txoko and Café Iruña in the 1920s; in Café Iruña there is a statue of the author. The square is one of the settings for Hemingway’s book The Sun Also Rises.Read more about the Plaza del Castillo