The BALUARTE Auditorium and Congress Centre, inaugurated by the Dukes of Lugo in October 2003, is an L-shaped modern building that opens out onto the main shopping area of Pamplona across a large paved square.
Behind it is the Ciudadela
(Citadel), a walled 16th-century enclosure that contains one of the largest and most popular green zones in the city
. The remains of the Baluarte (bastion) of San Antón, which was knocked down at the end of the 19th century when the Primer Ensanche (literally, 'first extension') of the city was built, came to light during the construction of the Congress Centre. These remains can be seen today in one of the exhibition rooms, and have left their mark in the name of the building.
The architect Patxi Mangado
designed BALUARTE as a linear construction without excessive height, covered on the exterior by plates of dark grey Zimbabwe granite. Inside, beech and tropical woods were used. In contrast to the glass facade that looks out onto the square, the side that overlooks the Citadel is stony and imposing.
You enter BALUARTE through a large foyer with big skylights, and there is an excellent view of the Citadel on the third floor through large glass windows. The wide spaces and the rooms in general are all equipped with the most advanced infrastructures to deal with every type of event of an artistic or scientific nature.
This building, which covers a 63,000-square-meter site, houses two concert halls: the Symphony Hall
(or Main Auditorium), with capacity for 1,560 spectators, and the Chamber Music Hall
, for five hundred people. The first, with its spectacular roof simulating a large sail suspended in the air, is fully equipped for congresses, choral symphonic concerts, special format operas, ballet accompanied by orchestra, musicals and variety shows, or theatre on a large scale. The second is a space designed for events on a more limited scale.
This Auditorium and Congress Centre also has three Exhibition Rooms that cover around 4,100 square meters: La Muralla (the old walls), the Ground Floor and the Mezzanine; two Congress halls (Ciudadela and Luneta), with a maximum capacity for 800 people, and three other conference halls with a maximum capacity of 100 each (Gola, Boulevard and Corona). There is a restaurant and cafeteria for the general public, as well as underground parking for around 900 vehicles.
BALUARTE has definitively equipped the city of Pamplona
with an unbeatable centre for the needs of the 21st century
: an ideal setting for holding congresses, trade fairs and other events from the economic and business world, as well as for hosting the shows and concerts of the most prestigious international artists.