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Pamplona History, Spain

Navarre’s capital city is Pamplona. This city also used to be the capital of the kingdom named Navarre. The most popular and most awaited event in Pamplona is the San Fermin Festival, which include the encierro – bulls running on the streets of the city. Exploring the city will not be possible unless one learns about Pamplona History.

Pamplona History – Establishment and Roman Occupation

General Pompey of Rome had made Pamplona area his headquarters and camp during the winter of 74-75 BC. The general is believed to be the founder of Pompaleo which is now known as Pamplona. Pompaleo is considered a significant city of the Vascones and archaeological excavations have shown that the city’s development was of high degree although not as exceptional as other cities of the Roman Hispania.

Pamplona History – Pre-Medieval Era

Following the decline of the Roman Empire, the Visigoths started to settle in Pamplona and began the city’s fortifications. The bishops of the city had been present in the Councils of Toledo. By the 700s, Franks and Moors occasionally ruled over the city. During the latter part of the century, the city’s power swung amid 2 influential states and affected the domestic struggles of the Basque warrior nobles.

At last, in 824, the new king of Pamplona, Iñigo Arista, was crowned. After that, the kingdom reinforced its independence from the destabilized Frankish empire and Emirate of Cordoba.

Pamplona History – Medieval Era

Pamplona’s economy rose starting from the 11th century allowing various developments in the city. Also, the bishops of Pamplona regained their religious roles. The city expanded in the 1100s with two new autonomous municipalities where most of the residents were French artisans and merchants. Because Pamplona and the new burgos were constantly at war, in 1423, King Charles III ordered the union of these places into one solitary city.

Pamplona History – Fortifying the City

The sovereign Navarre kingdom made Pamplona its capital during the Renaissance. The city had become a significant defensive area of the Pyrenees. The weaker side of Pamplona is where King Louis I constructed a castle at the beginning of the 1300s. This castle was destroyed and replaced with a new one under the order of King Ferdinand V after the Castilian occupation.

Pamplona History – Industrial Revolution

Improvements in the city services and surroundings were done during the 18th century. Many improvements were underway including the paving of streets and the establishment of permanent water supply. Mansions for the wealthy nobles and businessmen were also constructed.

Pamplona History – Involvement in Wars

The French army took over Pamplona during the Napoleonic Wars in 1808 and stayed there for 5 years. After this, the liberals occupied Pamplona during the Carlist Wars mainly because they wanted to control the government of the fortified city.

Being a walled city, Pamplona’s expansion was constricted by the fortifications around it. As a result, tall buildings were constructed for the residents and with the growing population, courtyards decreased.

During the First World War, the Army had the southern walls destroyed and eradicated the building ban in Pamplona. Consequently, the city’s expansion was no longer restricted.

Pamplona History – Modernization of the City

Along with the city’s growth, Pamplona History changed because industry and services were developed. Many people from neighboring towns like Bilbao and Valladolid migrated to the city. At present, Pamplona is considered one of the cities in Spain with a high standard of living. The crime rate is lower than the national standard while its industry is more advanced than the national standard.

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