Its privileged enclave, protected by the capricious river Arga and the fertile bank that surrounds it, together with its strategic location, gateway to the peninsula from Europe, have contributed to the rich history and important cultural heritage that Pamplona treasures. Its history goes back thousands of years, even before it was founded by Pompey in 74 BC.
Several villages passed through here, all of them contributing to the development of Pamplona as we know it today. Basques, Romans, Visigoths, Muslims or Franks succeeded each other in controlling these lands over the years until the Kingdom of Pamplona was formed. At that time, what we know today as Pamplona were actually several burghs, La Navarrería, San Cernin and the Population of San Nicolás, which were often confronted, partly due to disputes over control of this important square. It was around 1423 when Charles III dictated the Privilege of the Union, unifying the three burghs under the same coat of arms. Years of disputes and wars for its control that still lasted longer in time forcing reforms and extensions of the walls and fortifications that protected the city. Pamplona City Walls Route transports us not only through this Fortress City but also in time, allowing us to discover the traces that each period has left imprinted in every corner of one of the best preserved walled cities in Spain.
The importance that Pamplona has had for the different towns and kingdoms that disputed its control over the years has contributed to the development process of the city's defensive complex. The traces of the walls, the bastions, the counterguards or the ravelins, at first glance may seem like an illogical labyrinth, the whim of some eccentric monarch, but nothing further from reality, we are dealing with a masterpiece of military architecture born of experience and increasingly demanding defensive needs with the advance of the enemy's firepower. What better place to start the Route of the Walls of Pamplona than the Interpretation Centre located in the Fortín de San Bartolomé, next to Pamplona's imposing bullring. Here we will be able to follow step by step the evolution and development of the walls and fortifications that we are going to visit and their link with the people of Pamplona and understand more easily what we are about to contemplate.
After the visit to the Interpretation Centre of the Fortifications, as if they were real guardians of the wall, we head towards our next stop. We walk along the modern Labrit Footbridge that takes us directly to the bastion from which it receives its name, although initially it was called the Cube of the Caparroso Mill as it is located at its feet. From here we will already be immersed in the Ronda del Obispo Barbazán that crosses the only one of the fronts that are conserved of those that counted this bulwark. This pleasant walk allows us to realize the defensive union formed by the walls with the river Arga while we are surprised contemplating the silhouette of the cathedral of Pamplona, whose walls we are walking through and that calls our attention to the point that, when arriving at the next bastion, we take a small detour to visit this temple of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that hides different architectural styles and accumulates countless cultural treasures. The diocesan museum, the cloister, the kitchen of the canons together with the sepulchre of Carlos III, are only a small sample of the advisable thing of the visit.
Seeing compensated our small detour, we returned on our steps to take again the route that in part we had abandoned and to find us with one of the most beautiful corners of all Pamplona. Known as the Corner of the White Horse, we are at the highest point of the walls, which gives unparalleled views that together with its environment attract many visitors and people from Pamplona. We are actually in the Baluarte del Redín, one of the oldest in the walled enclosure. Its unbeatable defensive situation and the evolution of warfare techniques and machinery led to successive works of improvement and reinforcement that resulted in new moats and defensive structures at its feet as the Bastion of Guadalupe or the Revellín de los Reyes in which the new defensive techniques used in its construction are evident.
We leave this pleasant corner to continue the route following the Paseo del Redín that descends until another of the most symbolic points of the walls of Pamplona, the France Gateway. The entrance point of the Camino de Santiago in the city, it is parapetado behind the Baluarte del Pilar and as a whole is a clear example of the evolution that defensive techniques have had over the years. Rebaptised as the Portal de Zumalacárregui, it is the only one of the six entrance gates to the walled Pamplona that remains today. Undoubtedly for many pilgrims it is one of the many lasting memories they have of their Way since they arrive here after carrying out, many of them, their second stage and they enter the city crossing part of its walls.
We leave the pilgrims to follow their Path for us to ascend to the small Baluarte del Abrevador and continue along the walls passing by the General Archive of Navarre. This area is known as the Palace Platform and takes us, after a new descent, to another of Pamplona's world symbols, the Corralillos, from where the bulls that run in the running of the San Fermines Pamploneses come out. From here comes another of the typical tourist routes that the city has, the Route of the Running of the Bulls, which we continue for a few meters up the Cuesta de Santo Domingo to, as could not be otherwise, make a visit to San Fermín emulating the young men and young women who ask for his protection before each running of the bulls. Here you will also find the Museum of Navarre, located in the old Hospital de Nuestra Señora de la Misericordia. Here you can enjoy one of the best archaeological and artistic collections preserved in Navarre.
Once placed in the skin of the corridors of the running of the bulls, even if only for an instant and of course without the morlacos that put our hearts in a fist, we return to resume the course of the walls that border the museum we have just visited. We walk along the Paseo de Ronda that leads us to the impressive Portal Nuevo, built by Felipe II that allows us to go out to the park that hides another of the obligatory stops of this Route of the Walls of Pamplona. The Baluarte de la Taconera is one of those built to defend the Citadel. Together with the Revellín de San Roque, they now house the city's oldest garden, home to various animal species that delight the children who come here to visit them. This part of the tour allows us to enjoy the park and its surroundings while scrutinizing the defensive complex that protected this area of the city.
After taking the necessary time to get to know and enjoy this beautiful garden and its corners, we take the Route of the Walls of Pamplona to head towards the Citadel, leaving the park along Calle Bosquecillo where the Portal de La Taconera awaits us. From here we advance a few metres following the wide Pio XII Avenue to find ourselves almost instantly with the impenetrable fortification of the Citadel. First of all, we are going to walk around the exterior of this defensive complex made up of bastions, ravelins and counterguards such as the Baluarte de la Victoria, the Luneta de Santa Ana, the Baluarte de Santiago or the Contraguardia de Santa Isabel, which make our walk through the park surrounding the Citadel more enjoyable. Already in the Contraguardia de Santa Isabel and without forgetting the other defensive points of the enclosure, we enter through the Revellín de Santa Isabel that gives way to the Puerta del Socorro, first of the doors and fixed and drawbridges that give access to the interior of the Citadel. Once the interior of the fortress that Felipe II ordered to be built has been conquered, a series of outbuildings awaits us in its interior that formed and form the military complex. The Arms Room, the Powder Magazine, the Oven, the Mixed Pavilion and the Guard Corps are the buildings that are conserved today of those that stood here, all of them with their corresponding uses.
Once crossed this singular enclosure, imagining as it would be one of the guards that defended it, we walked to the outside of the fortification crossing the Corps of Guard, main door of the Citadel. We crossed the Avenida del Ejército to border the bastion where the modern Palacio de Congresos is located today, and later we did the same with the building that houses the Parliament of Navarre. From here we follow the wide Paseo de Sarasate that takes us directly to the Plaza del Castillo itself, the heart of the city, not without first visiting the fortress church of San Nicolás. The most representative palaces of the nobility that inhabited Pamplona are located around the symbolic square and in the adjacent streets. From here we can get to know the famous City Hall of Pamplona, the point of union of the three boroughs that once made it up, boroughs that we have just travelled along our route without being almost aware of it. Once you have covered this part of the city calmly, those who prefer to do so can close the circle of the Route of the Walls of Pamplona, leaving the Plaza del Castillo along Carlos III Avenue, which will take you past the Palace of Navarre and shortly afterwards will take you to the Monument to the Bull Run, from where you will head towards the nearby Bullring of Pamplona to put an end to this interesting journey through the history of this welcoming city.
Map of the route
This map is a sketch made as an example of the route, in no case represents the best or the only itinerary to follow. Its development has not taken into account the current rules of circulation or the state of the places through which it passes and that could affect its layout.
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¿Did you know that...
The famous running of the bulls of San Fermines originated in medieval times, when the bulls were led through the streets of Pamplona at dawn by shepherds from outside the walls to the square that acted as a bullfighting bullring. Not a few people from Pamplona disregarded the authorities' ban on running in front of bulls and forged the tradition of doing so until the town council took the decision to first protect the route and then regulate the running of the bulls.
Don't miss out...
To be able to enjoy and taste the interesting Navarrese gastronomy. Pamplona offers many possibilities for discovering interesting culinary proposals, such as a tempting pintxo route, which will allow us to delve into the heart of the city and get to know another of the attractions it offers its visitors. Of course, there are also several guided tour options available, which you can book by clicking on this link.
Distance of the route
5,6 Km This distance corresponds to the distance between each place to visit.
Duration of the tour
1h 30min It is the approximate time that it will take us to travel the distance that separates us from each place, to which we will have to add the time that we dedicate to each one of them..
Time of year
Throughout the year Pamplona offers attractions to decide which route to take.
Historical, cultural and gastronomic. This route takes us through different corners of Pamplona that mix history and traditions.
From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go.
Besides sharing with all of us your experience on the route we would be grateful if you could write to us to inform us of any erroneous or outdated information you may have found, or simply to let us know what you think at Thank you.
Route information updated on 18-08-2019. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.
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