What is a ravelin? A counterguard? A small fort? A barracks? A bastion? The answers to these (and other) questions can be found in the Interpretation Centre of Fortifications of Pamplona
. Located in the Fortín de San Bartolomé
at the end of the Media Luna park very close to the bullring and the Labrit pelota court, this innovative space occupies the five bomb-proof barracks or vaults of the small fort, a strategic place within the city walls.
It is a place that can be visited individually
in which photographs, drawings, texts, audiovisuals and interactive panels help the visitor to follow the evolution of the walls, understand the usefulness of the bastions and interactively wander through centuries of defensive strategy, lives, and events that took place in ?fortress Pamplona?. One of the highlights of the museum is the original graphite drawings, surely made by soldiers on watch.
After learning the secrets of the city walls of Pamplona
, follow the 5-kilometre walk and discover why they are a National Monument
and are considered one the most interesting military constructions in Spain.
The complex covers 220 square metres and is divided into 5 barracks, which were originally gunpowder and provisions stores, now adapted to allow access to the public. The centre contains the following sections:
- Barracks 0, ?The entrance?. Closest to the lift of the Medial Luna park, it is the reception/information and ticket sales point.
- Barracks 1, ?The Evolution?. This is the biggest room, where a 10-minute video is projected on the evolution of the city walls from the 12th century to the present day. A number of panels explain the parallel development of the city and its walls.
- Barracks 2, ?Defensive strategies?. Here a more technical explanation is given about the different parts and the function of the city walls. Dimensions, angles, geometry, firing ranges and other factors that engineers and designers took into account to create the defensive complex. It offers a vision of the defensive elements that can then be seen outside on the walls themselves.
- Barracks 3, ?The human side?. The walls have had a great effect on the lifestyle of the city?s inhabitants. For example, they determined urban planning until 1915. Five video-characters from different eras recreate the way in which people?s lives in Pamplona have changed over the years: a poet, an artilleryman, a customs officer, a mayor and a 21st-century woman.
- Barracks 4, ?Other fortified towns?. When one sees the lack of constructions of this type that are conserved in the world, the importance of this site becomes even clearer. Brief references are made to other fortifications in Navarre and the rest of the world
. Outside the barracks at the end of the route there is an interactive totem that asks visitors questions about what they have seen. Along the 5 kilometres of the walls
there are other totems and Perspex tables that help visitors to learn more about them.