Pamplona has five kilometres of city walls with several charming sites that can be visited along the way. The visit starts in the Information Centre of the Fortifications, located in the San Bartolomé stronghold, next to the Media Luna park. This garden of Arab inspiration offers enviable views of the Arga River and the city’s northern districts.
After visiting the stronghold, you can walk to the Labrit rampart and travel down the oldest part of the wall, the Ronda Barbazana. This is precisely where some of the scarce remains of the medieval walls can be seen, which were part of the cathedral. This walk will lead you to such emblematic monuments as the Archbishop’s Palace, an 18th century construction that constitutes one of Pamplona’s best showings of the Baroque style, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real, which dates to the 14th-15th centuries.
From the top of the Bastion of Redin, the picturesque Caballo Blanco square and its belvedere with views of Mount San Cristobal - Ezkaba will easily transport you back to the past and have you wondering what life was like in the medieval city. Very close by is the Gateway of France, the only original gate of the six that used to exist in the city wall, which has been preserved in its original place with the same appearance as when it was built in 1553. A second gate was added to it in the 18th century which still has its drawbridge and chain lifting system.
Further on is the old Palace of the Kings of Navarre, a 12th-century building that was restored in 2003 by architect Rafael Moneo and is currently the location of the General Archive. Inside it there is a conserved Romanesque vaulted room, an arcaded courtyard and a scale model of Pamplona in 1900.
The route continues by heading to the Museum of Navarre, located at the old Our Lady of Mercy hospital. Its collection includes archaeological and artistic pieces from pre-historic to modern times. The route proceeds along the Paseo de Ronda with its old guard posts, leading to the tranquil square of the Virgen de la O.
The imposing Portal Nuevo (‘New Gateway’, 16th century), which was totally rebuilt by Victor Eusa in 1950 with an enormous ashlar arch and two large towers, leads into the inviting Taconera Gardens. Dating back to 1830, this is the city’s oldest park. It has several beautiful flower beds, fountains and statues. The Ravelin of San Roque and the Bastion of Taconera are also part of the gardens. Moreover, deer, ducks and peacocks living in semi-freedom can be seen around its moats. Two other old gateways—the Taconera and the San Nicolás—were transported stone by stone from their original location on San Ignacio Avenue to these gardens.
Finally, the route leads to the Citadel, one of Europe’s largest defensive fortifications that is considered the finest example of Spanish Renaissance military architecture. A common pastime of Pamplona’s residents is to go on walks or play sports in the gardens surrounding the Vuelta del Castillo, in addition to visiting art exhibitions and events hosted in the Hiriartea Contemporary Cultural Centre, located inside the Citadel.
You can discover all of these places on the mobile application Pamplona Iruña, which displays a route along the city walls with detailed, user-friendly information on each of the points of interest along the way.