Pamplona: beyond the “Sanfermines”
You may have read and heard many things about the Sanfermines, the popular festival that takes place every summer in Pamplona with the bulls running and so on. But the capital of Navarre has much to offer beyond bullfighting. The town hall square and the town hall, the Estafeta Street, the Yamaguchi Park, the Citadel and the Cathedral of Santa María la Real are just some of the places you should not miss. Do you want us to help you organize your tailor made holidays in Spain? Great, join us on this tour!
Town Hall Square & Town Hall
The town hall square and the town hall of Pamplona are a must. It is located in the old quarter and has its origin in the Middle Ages. It is the scene of the ‘chupinazo’ (rocket blasted at the beginning of the festivities) and the song of ‘Pobre de mí’, the beginning and end of the festivities of San Fermín. Strolling around, in addition to the streets of Santo Domingo, Mercaderes and Estafeta, will be engraved in your memory.
Parque de Yamaguchi Park
80,000 square meters of green space. That is the Japanese garden of Yamaguchi, opened to the public in 1996. It is the result of the twinning of the capital of Navarre with Yamaguchi, which was evangelized by the patron saint of the city, San Francisco Javier. It has numerous species and ornaments from the Japanese country. We must include the planetarium, a mandatory stop for astronomy lovers.
Santa María la Real cathedral
Pamplona has the most complete cathedral that is preserved in Spain. In addition to the church, the cloister and the sacristies, Santa María la Real has cillería (storage room where provisions are kept), refectory (space where the monks ate), casa capitular (where the monks talked about divine and human affairs) and bedrooms. Its construction began at the end of the 14th century and ended at the beginning of the 19th century, which is why it combines various artistic styles. Among them, Romanesque, Gothic and Neoclassical.
The Citadel is a fortification of Renaissance style built between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that, at present, is preserved as a large garden and hosts various cultural activities in the buildings that comprise it.
Chorizo de Pamplona, chops “Navarra” style, chistorra (kind of thin chorizo that is fired for consumption), lamb and cochifrito are just some of the delicacies that you can enjoy during your visit to Pamplona. But there is still more within this gastronomic tour in northern Spain. We must also highlight the stews of wild boar, deer and bull (especially in time of Sanfermines) and redondos and roasts of beef. Despite not having sea, Pamplona and the whole region of Navarre stand out for their fish recipes, such as the garlic cod and “arriero” style trout and the hake “Navarra” style (popularized by the chef Jesus Rodero, Rodero restaurant, awarded with a Michelin Star). The buds and artichokes of Tudela, the anchovies, the piquillo peppers of Lodosa and the cheeses of Idiazábal and the Roncal Valley are other alternatives that you should not forget.