Pamplona Sights and Landmarks Guide, Spain
Pamplona Sights - The Heart of Navarra
The former capital of the Kingdom of Navarre, Pamplona, is nowadays one of the most successful holiday destinations in Spain. Relatively close to other important destinations, such as Zaragoza and Bilbao, Pamplona still manages to attract a sizeable tourist crowd every year, especially during the time of its famous bull running event. The festival of Sanfermines, when the running of the bulls traditionally takes place, is known worldwide, mostly thanks to Hemingway’s novels. Despite the festival’s fame, there is much more to the city of Pamplona than bulls and carnivals. The city is full of lush parks and beautiful Roman buildings, as well as numerous museums and a variety of great restaurants and cafes. This Pamplona Sights Guide will briefly present the most interesting places of this charming city.
Pamplona Sights - Architecture
Most of the city’s architectural sights are within walking distance from Plaza del Castillo, Pamplona’s historical heart. Casco Antiguo is the city’s old quarter, is a pleasant place for a walk, with its narrow cobbled streets. Although the neighborhood might seem rather chaotic at first, it definitely has a certain charm. The streets of Casco Antiguo are lined with shops of various kinds, quaint little cafes and restaurants serving traditional Spanish dishes. La Ciudadela is the city’s fortress, built in the 16th century. Although parts of the building are centuries old, they were modified in the 19th century in order to resist artillery attacks. The building is in shape of a pentagon, and it originally sported five star-shaped ramparts. This Pamplona Sights Guide recommends that you visit the Ayuntamiento, the city’s town-hall, built in the baroque style. This is where the mayor of Pamplona fires a rocket on July 6 every year to mark the beginning of San Fermin.
Pamplona Sights - Museums and Religious Buildings
The Museum of Navarre is housed in a former hospital built in the 16th century. Most of the exhibits are related to the history of the Kingdom of Navarre. The original hospital building has not survived untouched until today, but its Plateresque façade is still intact. The hospital’s chapel can also be visited, and in addition to its Gothic-Renaissance interior, visitors can also admire displays of Baroque and Renaissance religious paintings. The highlight of the museum is a piece by famous Spanish painter Francisco Goya. Iglesia de la Colegiata is Pamplona’s most prominent church, a 13th century building. The church’s most important attractions are the statue of the Virgin of Orreaga, and the tomb of King Sancho VII, made of alabaster. Another church worth visiting is the imposing Iglesia de San Nicolas, also built in the 13th century, which distinguishes itself by its Roman architectural style.
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