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We will start next to the bull ring, at a bust of Ernest Hemingway, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist who made the festivity of San Fermín famous worldwide.
From there, we enter the historic quarter, taking a picturesque walk along the Ronda del Obispo Barbazán, with impressive views over the city walls. The walls are classified as a National Monument and are considered one of the most interesting and best conserved defensive complexes in Spain. To learn about their history, visit the Centro de las Fortificaciones de Pamplona.
Heading towards the Cathedral, on the Baluarte del Redín, is one of the most picturesque spots in the city, the Rincón del Caballo Blanco, a viewpoint with excellent views over the river Arga, the neighbourhoods of La Rochapea and La Chantrea and the mountains behind and the Paseo de Ronda (battlement walk). If the weather is good, enjoy a drink on the terrace of the bar there.
The next stop is the Cathedral of Santa María, built between the 12th and 15th centuries. Behind its neo-classical façade lies one of the most beautiful Gothic cloisters of Europe. The Catherdral houses an exhibition titled ”Occidens”, awarded with a Core77 prize (New York) as the best exhibition in the world. It takes you on a virtual journey through the different phases of our history with the help of the latest technologies.
Just a short distance from the Cathedral stands the Museo de Navarra, which houses the art and history of Navarre from the Prehistoric era to the present day. Outstanding items on display are the Roman mosaic of the Triumphal Arch of Bacchus, the Romanesque capitals of the ancient cathedral of Pamplona, a Mozarabic chest from the Monastery of Leyre and a portrait of the Marquis of San Adrián by Goya.
Continue up Santo Domingo street towards City Hall square, the place where a ceremonial rocket is fired every year at noon on July 6th to start the universally-known festivity of San Fermín. The City Hall has an elegant and colourist façade that combines the baroque and neo-classical styles. From here, you can follow the route of the encierro (bull run) of San Fermín towards Calle Estafeta.
Lunchtime is approaching, and you will surely need to restock on energy and enjoy a good meal in the process. Fortunately, you are in the right place, as all over the historic quarter you will find bars and restaurants offering delicious pinchos (tapas) and traditional or signature cuisine.
In the afternoon, we suggest a walk around the city’s parks and gardens. You can choose from the French-style Taconera park and its deer and peacocks in the moat surrounding it; the romantic Media Luna park; the Citadel, located inside a 16th-century fortress; the Japanese-style Yamaguchi park, located next to the city’s Planetarium; or the Arga River Park, which and offers a different perspective on the city. It is particularly impressive in spring and autumn.
If you like art, visit the Museo Universidad de Navarra, on the western side of the city. Designed by Rafael Moneo, it houses an art collection with works by artists such as Picasso, Tàpies or Kandinsky.