Citadel and Vuelta del Castillo Park

Practical information

Address: Avenida del Ejército, 1

Tel:  948 420 975

E-mail:     ciudadela@pamplona.es

Route:
     Pamplona is the City Walls
     Pamplona is Green
     Pamplona is the Way

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday and public holidays: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Brochure: Pamplona is Green

Virtual visit 360º

Leaving the Taconera Gardens to the south, you reach Vuelta del Castillo Park; the name given to the old defensive glacis of the Citadel and, since 1964 when the fortification was handed over to the council, a huge space for culture and leisure.

The Citadel is home to the Hiriartea - Contemporary Culture Centre. Exhibitions and different activities are held in its buildings, and in its gardens stand works by well-known sculptors: Oteiza, Basterretxea, Miralles, Aguirre, Larrea, Eslava, Ugarte de Zubiarráin and Juarros. 

Outside the fortress, the moats and Vuelta del Castillo also make for a pleasant walk. The perspective it offers lets you enjoy the Renaissance military construction in all its splendour: ravelins, counterguards, covered pathways, drawbridges, embrasures and bastions. On these paths you can find maple, cypress, beech, fir, pine, ash, elm and cedar trees, to name but a few. The trees provide homes for birds such as the tiny European scops owl and the common noctule, a species of bat, for which nesting boxes are deployed throughout the park.

 

Route of the parks and gardens of Pamplona

The route begins in the Media Luna Park, continues through the Taconera Gardens, the Citadel and the Vuelta del Castillo Park and ends in the Yamaguchi Park and Galaxy Garden. In the Citadel and the Vuelta del Castillo Park you will find the following trees:  

 
Sign 13. Betula alba - Birch

Check the whitish bark and weeping branches. The seeds of birches mean food for migratory birds coming from northern Europe in winter. It is an indigenous tree."

Sign 14. Fagus sylvatica var. purpurea - Copper beelch

The bright red colour will help you distinguish it from the indigenous beech. It needs constant humidity. When it grows apart from other trees, in summer its wide top provides a fresh and leafy shade.

Sign 15. GREEN GIANTS: Quercus robur - Oak of the country and “Joshemigelerico” the European king.

This tall deciduous tree that can reach a height of 40 metres and has a large, regular crown. Its acorns mature in the autumn and in early winter. It is considered a symbol of strength.

Sign 16. GREEN GIANTS: Picea abies - Spruce and “Joshepamunda” the European queen

Joshepamunda and the spruce share their European origin. Just like the giants of Pamplona, this tree is noteworthy for its longevity – the oldest known tree being a 9,550 year-old spruce!. Su madera fue usada para fabricar los famosos violines Stradivarius.

Sign 17. Fagus sylvatica ´Purple Fountain' - Weeping beech

Its weeping silhouette gives it a magical appearance, with a personality of its own, like  a guard keeping watch near the entrance to the Citadel. Es una variedad de jardinería del haya autóctona.

Sign 18. Pinus pinea – Pine tree

This tall deciduous tree that can reach a height of 40 metres and has a large, regular crown. Its acorns mature in the autumn and in early winter. It is considered a symbol of strength.


Amphibians and reptiles

The ponds in the dry moats of the Citadel are home to midwife toads and Iberian green frogs: male toads carry the eggs on their hind legs until they hatch. The frog has a characteristic croak and you will hear their chanting in spring and summer nights.

Geckos like sunny walls. This funny reptile changes its colours – dark during daytime and light at night. "

 

The birds

The Vuelta del Castillo Park is full of hoopoes, wagtails, and corvids such as choughs, jackdaws and crows. Other birds that overfly the city can also be seen:

  • The kestrel is the public enemy no. 1 of sparrows and other small birds. Its ability to prey on caged birds in balconies and windowsills – and devour them on the spot, is noteworthy. 
  • Late evening in May and in June you will frequently hear a high-pitched and constant sound, repeated every few seconds, in parks and tree-lined avenues. It is the call of the del scops owl, a small bird of prey which remains silent and still when somebody approaches it.
  • The swift eats and sleeps whilst flying, tirelessly. Quite fond of cities, you will find it in Pamplona between May and August.
  • Blackbirds love to hop on the grass and sing as the sun goes down, with extraordinarily fluty notes.
  • Robins are squat birds, their reddish-orange breast being a giveaway. 
  • The Red Kite is one of the easiest diurnal birds of prey to distinguish by its orange colour. It has a wingspan of 170 centimetres. It flies over the city like a sentry in search of other birds and rodents.
  • You will easily recognise serins in tree tops because of their lemon yellow colour.

 

 Nest boxes

Many nest boxes are scattered in the city’s parks - Taconera Gardens, Vuelta del Castillo Park, Yamaguchi and Arga river Park, to attract birds. Some are for kestrels, some for scops owls and some for small birds like sparrows.