Routes Along the Walls of Pamplona
The Town Halls of Hondarribia, Pamplona and Bayone have joined together in the project titled, “POCTEFA” that will explore different initiatives of cultural and patrimonial interest. Cultural tourism is the new tendency of innovative tourism.
The Walls of Pamplona were originally part of a fortified structure for the city and are some of the best conserved in all of Europe. They was built between the 16th and 19th centuries and withstood wars and even destruction, which did not bring it down in its entirety. Today, due to an important plan of renovation, the Walls make up one of the most emblematic routes of Pamplona. In 2012 the Walls of Pamplona were awarded the International “Europa Nostra” prize for this magnificent renovation.
The Center of Interpretation of the “Fortificaciones de Pamplona” is located in the “Fortín de San Bartotomé” where the beautiful walk begins and continues for five kilometers. The Center consists of four cupolas or domes. Under the first dome, you can watch a video recounting the history of the fortifications of Pamplona since the13th century. Under the second, there are 25 interactive panels showing the evolution of the Walls to ward off advances in artillery and in attack strategy. The third, human aspects of Pamplona as a fortress. The last shows other fortified cities around the world with different structural shapes such as the pentagonal one of which Pamplona´s citadel or Ciudadela, dating from the 16th century, is the oldest one in the world. It was built during the reign of King Philip II.
Now we begin the walk around the Walls, starting with the “Fortín de San Bartolomé“, built during the 18th century as an exterior support for the walled – in area. Here you can see the lovely gardens of the “Media Luna” and the Tejería area. From this point, follow the Ronda Barbanzana, which is one of the most beautiful parts of the walk and goes behind the Episcopal Palace and the cathedral area.
The highest point of the Walls of Pamplona is the “Bastión del Redín” (1540) from where we can contemplate the moats of the city and the neighborhoods of the Rochapea, Chantrea and San Jorge, with a view of the mountain San Cristóbal and its abandoned fort in the distance. The Mesón del Caballo Blanco, an ancient palace, later a stop for pilgrims and now a restaurant is here, and a street parallel to the mesón leads us to the Plaza San José and the Cathedral of Pamplona.
From the “Bastión del Redín”, you can continue along the wall to the entrance called “Portal de Francia“, the oldest in the city (1553). Sculpted into a shield is a two-headed eagle and the royal coat-of-arms. Pilgrims who are on the way to St. James pass through this access into the medieval section called the Navarrería in Pamplona.
If you continue walking along the Paseo del Redín, you arrive at the Museum of Navarra, and from there – always following the walls – to the Paseo de Ronda and to the plaza of the Virgen de la O, which is reached by crossing the Portal Nuevo (1906) to the “Baluarte de la Taconera” with the oldest park in Pamplona ( 1830), a magical garden of a French style.
The Taconera has seen many generations of children grow up among its playgrounds, paths of bushes and beautiful flowers. There is even a small zoo in a moat. Several reforms have taken place here The “Revellín of San Roque“, built between 1675 and 1700 during the reign of King Charles II, was intended to be an external defense structure of the “Ciudadela“. One of the bulwarks best conserved is the “baluarte de la Taconera”, whose renovation has returned it to its ancient splendor.
From the park of the Taconera, you end your route along the Walls of Pamplona in the “Ciudadela” or citadel Once the “Ciudadela” was no longer needed for defense, the grounds were transformed into an English style park: the “Vuelta del Castillo” but you can still see moats and other military structures from long ago. La “Vuelta” is the largest green space in the center of Pamplona. One of the main entrances is from the Avd. del Ejército, built in 1767. There exists another entrance through a gateway brought to the area in 1720 from the “Baluarte de Santa María” – across a bridge over moats whose massive gates could once be closed.
Inside the “Ciudadela”, there are various military structures now used for art shows, performances and other cultural acts.
Para más información: www.murallasdepamplona.com