Pamplona is a small city located in northern Spain close to the French border. It is also the capital of the Navarro region.
The town of Pamplona has achieved world fame as the place where the San Fermin festival is held for one week in July each year. The highlight of this festival is the “running of the bulls”, or in Spanish, encierro, when a group of bulls are let loose in the streets and people run in front of them. Although there are bull running events in other parts of Spain, the Pamplona event was made famous by Ernest Hemingway in the novel, “The Sun Also Rises”. Bullfights take place in the Plaza de Toros.
Pamplona has retained much of its old architecture and its gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria is listed as one of the most important religious buildings in Spain. In the central nave can be seen the 15th century mausoleum of Carlos III, made from alabaster.
The night life in Pamplona centres around the Plaza del Castillo. Here there are a great many bars where the visitor can indulge in what the locals term “poteo”. This is a glass of wine or beer with a snack, usually a tapas.
Also in the centre of the city is the Museo de Navarra. The museum's collection includes Roman sculpture and pavement mosaics, Gothic wall paintings and paintings by Becerra and Morales. Of particular note is a 9th century Moorish ivory casket from Córdoba which was discovered in the monastery of Leyre.
Pamplona has a planetarium which has the largest dome in the world with a diameter of 20 meters. It has exhibitions and a projection room.
Pamplona has many restful parks, ideal for an afternoon stroll. The oldest is Taconera Park which was designed in the 17th century. There are many sculptures and formal arrangements.