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The Citadel and City Walls

citadel and city walls

The Citadel

The glacis

This is the name given to the open land surrounding this type of fortification. It forms an even, gentle slope up to the moat and it was forbidden to build on it. It has been a favourite walk for locals since the XVII century. These gardens -Vuelta del Castillo- are now a spectacular green area for a stroll or to do sport in.

The moats

The moats, which can be accessed, also form part of this park. This maze-like area has a central path which takes walkers past small ponds, sports facilities and a public fronton (Basque pelota court).

Guards’ quarters (Cuerpo de guardia)

The main gateway to the inner ward was built according to a design by Llovet (1767) and opens out onto Avenida del Ejército. Inside are the citadel’s guards’ quarters, now municipal storerooms and offices.

Gateway of the “Socorro” and the Chapel

This gate, which was brought from the Santa María bastion in 1730, now communicates the Citadel with Vuelta del Castillo via a bridge over the moats, once a drawbridge. Next to the gate is the Chapel, now available for weddings.

The inner park

The inner ward of this sophisticated war construction is now a beautiful public park with paths and lawns, numerous species of trees and an open-air exhibition of the finest contemporary sculpture: Jorge Oteiza, Néstor Barretxea, Vicente Larrea, Alberto Eslava, Ricardo Ugarte, Imanol Aguirre, Pablo Juarros, etc.

The Magazine (Polvorín)

Built in 1694, this is the oldest building in the inner ward. It is now home to art exhibitions.

Weapons Building (Sala de Armas)

This Building was built in 1725 according to the renovation design for the Citadel and City walls by the prestigious architect Verboom. It has four floors and used to be the artillery store. It now houses art and cultural exhibitions.


The fortification’s old bread oven is now an exhibition and avant-garde installation centre.

Mixed Pavilion (Pabellón de Mixtos)

The two large rooms in this building, renovated in 1720 and later, provide further exhibition space.

The City Walls

Media Luna de San Bartolomé

It is possible to walk around three quarters of the original perimeter of the city walls and arrive in the Citadel. You can start your walk here, in the Park of La Media Luna, a romantic park designed at the beginning of the XX century. You can continue beneath the walls in the Park of La Tejería, or on top, reaching the Bastion of El Redín.

Ronda Barbazana

This part of the walk runs parallel to the oldest part of the entire walled complex (XVI), between the Bastion of Labrit and the Bastion of El Redín. This is one of the most attractive parts of the city, behind the Bishop’s Palace and the cathedral complex.

Bastion of El Redín

This is the highest point of the city walls and offers extraordinary views of the moats and city beyond the walls. The Mesón del Caballo Blanco, an ancient palace and then pilgrims’ inn, is located here. The street which leads to the Cathedral is one of the most charming spots in Pamplona.

Gateway of France

The city’s oldest gate, also called the Gateway of Zumalacárregui (1553), can be seen from the Bastion of El Redín. It bears a coat of arms carved with the two-headed eagle and the imperial arms. After crossing the River Arga, pilgrims used to pass this gate to enter the mediaeval burgh of Navarrería.

Bastion of La Taconera

If you continue along Paseo del Redín, you reach the Museum of Navarre and from there, following Paseo de Ronda, you reach Plaza Virgen de la O. The new gateway, over Avenida de Guipúzcoa, leads to the Bastion of La Taconera, home to the city’s oldest park (1830): a French-style, romantic garden. The moat contains a beautiful zoo with deer, ducks, rabbits and peacocks in semi-liberty.

Reinforcement of the City walls (XVII-XVIII)

The City walls were subject to serious reinforcement work as of the XVII century to adapt the defensive structure to the new age: counterguards, half-moon batteries, ravelins, etc. The construction of the Citadel, the low bastions of El Pilar and Guadalupe, and the forts of San Bartolomé, San Roque and El Príncipe all belong to this period.

The Citadel and City Walls

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

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