History of Pamplona

In the Iron Age, a primitive Vascon settlement called Iruña was located, for its defence, in a terraced area over the Arga river. In 75 BC the Roman general Pompey, on his way to war against Sertorius, arrived. The military settlement he founded gave rise to the Roman city of Pompaelo. At around the same time, the renowned Greek geographer Strabo left the oldest known reference to the city in his Geographica: ‘then, above Jacetania, heading north, is the nation of the Vascones, whose main city is Pompelon; as they say, the city of Pompey'.

In the 5th century, the small city of Iruña was under the dominion of the Visigoths, who even managed to establish a bishopric. And in 711, it was the Moors who invaded and settled in the city. In 778, Charlemagne razed the walls of Pamplona, giving rise to the Battle of Roncesvalles, an event interpreted as the beginnings of the small Kingdom of Pamplona. Its first king was Eneko Aritza.