WALKS TO GET TO KNOW THE CITY OF PAMPLONA
Pamplona is the capital of the province of Navarre, the district that bears its name and used to be the capital of the old Kingdom of Navarre. It is located in what is practically the geographical centre of the province, the historical city taking up position on a terrace with a marked slope, at the bottom of which flows the River Arga. The name of the city comes from the Roman General Pompey the Great, who set up camp at the spot when winter arrived in 75-74 B.C. This military camp became a permanent post, giving rise to a stipendiary military city belonging to the Conventus Iuridicus of Caesaraugusta. The Romans found a local population which had lived in the area since the First Iron Age, VII or VI century B.C., none of whose buildings remain, but some of whose personal belongings have been unearthed. Strabo described the inhabitants of the area in his Geographica: “All the mountaineers lead a simple life, are water-drinkers, sleep on the ground, and let their hair stream down in thick masses after the manner of women, though before going into battle they bind their hair about the forehead. They eat goat's meat mostly, and to Ares they sacrifice a he-goat and also the prisoners and horses (...). They eat sitting down on benches built around the walls, sitting according to age and rank; the food is passed round; amid their cups the men dance.” The remains of the Roman Pompaelo are on show at the Museum of Navarre.
P1: Pamplona, city of monuments
Architectural styles, nobility, religion, administrative areas, meeting places... One of the best ways to understand the idiosyncrasy of a city is to visit its most representative buildings, mix in with the people, watch them going about their business, enjoy the city’s more spectacular areas, the magnificence of its coats of arms and the building styles from different periods.
- LA PLAZA DEL CASTILLO
- PALACIO DE NAVARRA
- LA CALLE ZAPATERÍA
- EL AYUNTAMIENTO
- LA CALLE MAYOR
- CONVENTO DE RECOLETAS
- MUSEO DE NAVARRA
- CATEDRAL DE SANTA MARÍA LA REAL
P2: Pamplona, fortified city
Pamplona’s defence system is one of the best conserved examples of military architecture on the peninsula. Most of it can be covered on foot and it is, without doubt, one of the best ways to see the city. Due to their strategic locations, the bastions offer beautiful views of the districts on the outskirts and the mountains that surround the city. Walks along the walls are peaceful strolls, an ideal way to switch off and just enjoy the surroundings and good company. The grandeur of the structures speak of other times, of battles key to history, of Pamplona as a border town.
The Citadel and the park around it, the Vuelta del Castillo, form one of Pamplona’s most charming areas, a beautiful walled park in the heart of the city. You can make the most of a visit to this delightful part of the city to take a look at one of the exhibitions of modern art normally on display in some of its buildings, such as the Mixed Room or the Magazine, or to enjoy the magnificent open-air sculpture exhibition.
P3: The way of St. James reveals Pamplona
Pamplona is the first city on the popular French route of the Way of St James, which has been declared a World Heritage Site. The goal of travellers, the city of Santiago de Compostela, is a few hundred kilometres away and they still have to cross small villages, bleak plateaus, cities and rugged paths before they arrive at their destination, the tomb of Saint James.
This route through the city takes walkers on the route normally followed by pilgrims on their way through Pamplona, from the Bridge of La Magdalena, where they cross the River Arga, to the churches and mediaeval streets of the historical city. A route to put yourselves in the shoes of pilgrims for a day and walk the stretch of the Way that runs through Pamplona.
The Way of St James crosses the oldest part of the city, its historical centre. It provides a good opportunity to lose yourself in the midst of the Mediaeval city with its cobbled streets and make the most of the shops, bars and restaurants that line the way.
P4: Green Pamplona: parks and gardens
It is hard to understand the urban landscape of the capital of Navarre without its parks and gardens, which breath air into the city thanks to their abundant vegetation and offer sanctuary to those in search of peace and quiet. The most striking of these are the Citadel and Vuelta del Castillo, considered the lungs of the city, and the Arga Riverside Park, a route which follows the banks of the river past allotments, farms, bridges, urban landscapes and others of a more rural nature. More than 20% of the city’s surface area is green and pedestrianised, making it a wonderful city for walks.
A walk through green Pamplona could start in the Citadel and then out into the Vuelta de Castillo to the Park of Antoniutti, a foretaste of La Taconera.
The Parapet Walk that takes us to Rincón del Caballo Blanco can be reached from these gardens. From there, you can leave the Historical Centre behind and head towards the Park of La Media Luna. There are three other attractive areas that visitors should not miss, but which stand somewhat apart from the city centre. These are the Park of Yamaguchi, in the Ermitagaña district, the campus of the Public University of Navarre and the campus of the University of Navarre. There is also a stretch of the Arga Riverside Park in Pamplona, beginning in the market gardens of La Magdalena and leaving the capital in the district of San Jorge.
- PARQUE DE LA CIUDADELA
- PARQUE VUELTA DEL CASTILLO
- PARQUE DE LA TACONERA
The San fermin Fiesta
The essence of Pamplona and its inhabitants cannot be fully understood without first discovering and enjoying at least one day of what are perhaps the most international fiestas of all, namely the San Fermin festivities. For nine whole days, the city changes completely. Its streets become a sea of red and white, hosting people from all over the world, in a non-stop whirl of activities. 204 hours of uninterrupted festivities, with a program of events that offers a tremendous range of possibilities, with activities at any time of the day or night, all over the city. This all happens on the sixth of July, at twelve noon, when the rocket marking the start of nine days of festivities explodes into the sky above Pamplona.
Conference begins in: