Chapel of San Fermín
If the streets of Pamplona are the main stage for the world famous San Fermín festival, the Saint's Chapel, situated inside the Church of San Lorenzo, acts as the focal point for the faithful, who meet there to celebrate religious events in honour of the city's patron saint.
The City Council attends the church in full ceremonial regalia on July 6th every year, just a few hours after the chupinazo (ceremonial rocket) that inaugurates the festivity. Vespers of the main day of the fiesta, July 7th, are celebrated with a Mass, the only day of the year when the saint's reliquary, a polychromed, silver-covered wooden sculpture from the 15th century, leaves its home in a chapel of the Church of San Lorenzo to take part in the procession through the old quarter of the city. This takes place under the devoted and emotional gaze of thousands of pamploneses, as well as visitors from all over the world. The chapel then goes back to being a major protagonist in the religious activities of the Octava (Octave, or eighth Mass) which ends the eight-day festival.
On any other day of the year it is customary for locals and visitors to meet on this spot at the end of Calle Mayor (High Street). It is also customary for many engaged couples to want to get married in front of its altar, for which it is necessary to book a date many years in advance.
It is in The Church of San Lorenzo, of average architectural value but strong in deep-rooted sentimental value, that all the official religious activities during San Fermín take place. Today, hardly a single tower remains of the original mediaeval church, which formed part of Pamplona's defensive system in years gone by. It is a curious fact that the Church of San Lorenzo, bear ... [+ info]
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