Pamplona

Pamplona, also known as Iruña in Basque, is the capital city of the Navarre region in northern Spain. It’s renowned worldwide for the annual San Fermín festival, which honors Saint Fermin, the patron saint of Navarre, and features the famous “Running of the Bulls” (encierro) along with other cultural and religious events.
During the “Running of the Bulls,” several bulls are released into the narrow streets of the old town, and daredevils, or “mozos,” run in front of them to demonstrate their bravery. The event has its origins in the need to transport bulls from their corrals to the bullring for the bullfights. The 875-meter bull run route snakes along three main streets in the Casco Viejo (Old Quarter) of Pamplona: Santo Domingo, Mercaderes and Estafeta. These centuries-old streets are riddled with hazards for both runner and animal. There are sharp right angles, perilous slopes, uneven pavers and a tricky bottleneck at the end where the beasts are funneled into the bullring.

The city of Pamplona itself dates back to Roman times, when it was called Pompaelo. It later became a key city in the Kingdom of Navarre and played a significant role in the Middle Ages. The city’s rich history is reflected in its architecture, which includes a blend of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. Notable landmarks include the Pamplona Cathedral, a stunning Gothic structure, and the Ciudadela, a star-shaped fortress dating back to the 16th century.

Like many Spanish cities, Pamplona also has a rich culinary tradition and beautiful natural surroundings. Local culinary specialties include pintxos (Basque-style tapas), Navarre-style cod, lamb stew, and excellent wines, particularly from the nearby Navarre wine region. To the north of the city are the famous Pyrenees Mountains where outdoor enthusiasts can explore hiking trails, go mountain biking, or enjoy various water sports in nearby rivers.


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