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Church of San Cernin

The towers of San Cernin

The Church of San Cernin, or Saint Saturnine, possibly built over an earlier Roman temple in honour of Diana, was the religious centre of the ancient burgh of San Cernin. Like San Nicolás, it performed an important defensive function for the inhabitants of the area, thus explaining its thick, strong walls and two tall towers. It is located on the ancient Rúa de las Bolserías, a key road between the XII and XIV centuries.

The view of the towers of San Cernin by night is one of the city’s most beautiful and characteristic sights. A weathervane in the shape of a cock sits on the top of the church’s main tower. The "cock of San Cernin" is one of the city’s most popular emblems. The clock on the same tower, which dates from 1499, announces the time for the launching of the rocket which sets the Bull Run under way each morning during the San Fermin fiestas.

On the main, north façade, there is a generous atrium formed by pointed arches and vaults from the XVI century, and the doorway is a beautiful example of XIII-century Gothic, with capitals representing scenes from the passion and childhood of Christ. On the sides of the entrance arch, there are images of Saint James as a pilgrim and Saint Saturnine.

Inside the church, different Gothic forms alternate in a space which is none-too-common in Navarre: a single, large nave with sexpartite vault, polygonal apse, chapels between buttresses and an elevated choir.

©Pamplona City Council. Consistorial square s/n 31001 - Pamplona (Navarra) - 948 420 100 - pamplona@pamplona.es

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