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Teatro Gayarre

Teatro Gayarre

Teatro Gayarre

Teatro Gayarre (Av. de Carlos III, Pamplona) — this theater was initially built under the name of ‘Teatro Principal de Pamplona’ but changed its name in 1903 in memory of the tenor from the Roncal valley Julián Gayarre. It was moved to its present site in 1931, although conserving part of its original facade.

 

After a new of reforms, the Teatro Gayarre still conserves its ‘Italian horseshoe’ shape and its capacity of 1056 seats, spread between stalls, boxes and ‘gods’. Every year, it offers some of the best spectacles on offer in the country, without forgetting local companies and in-house productions. It also dedicates a special cycle for youngsters.


Riverside Park

Riverside Park

Riverside Park

Riverside Park — spanning a total of nearly a million square meters, Pamplona’s Riverside Park is the lung of this great city. Leaving behind the stone enclosure of the ancient city walls, you can enjoy a leisurely walk in the outdoors along the 17 kilometers of pathway meandering the banks of the Arga, Elorz and Sadar rivers. It isn’t unusual to spot the odd rower or fisherman along the way as you follow one of several routes which take walkers across bridges and into the city’s tranquil countryside.

 

Also, the twisting path of the Arga approach and wander away from the city walls, running under Pamplona’s main historical bridges: Magdalena, San Pedro, Rochapea and Santa Engracia. The walk along its banks runs parallel to the watercourse and passes sports areas frequented by walkers, cyclists, rowers and anglers, not to mention peaceful spots of great beauty.

 


Privilegio de la Unión

Privilegio de la Unión

Privilegio de la Unión

Privilegio de la Unión: every September 8, parties are held in Pamplona to celebrate the signing of the union between the three towns within Pamplona which Carlos III unified on September 8, 1423.

Planetario de Pamplona

Planetario de Pamplona

Planetario de Pamplona

Planetario de Pamplona (Calle Sancho Ramirez e/Av. Barañain, Pamplona) – built in 1993 and located adjacent to Parque de Yamaguchi, it attracts over 200,000 visitors annually. The origins of the universe as well as the latest discoveries in the field of astronomy are the subject of the numerous expositions projected up onto the impressive dome of the Tornamira Hall, which measures in at 20 meters in diameter – making it one of the largest of its kind in the world!

 

The Tornamira projection room uses sophisticated systems for projecting stars, planets, and all kinds of image, video and special effects. Regular shows for every type of audience are held, combining themes related to astronomy with our own cultural environment. Each season, the Planetarium puts on varied programs, with such evocative titles as “Lights at Night”, “Looking towards the Heavens” and, for children, “The Night of the Vampire” and “Star School”. This is a perfect all-weather activity for people of all ages, particularly those interested in the sciences. Admission: €4 (adult), €3 (child) – free admission to other areas of the planetarium. Hours: 9:30 am – 1:30 pm & 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm (Tuesday – Friday), 10:30 am – 1:30 pm & 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Saturday). Closed on Sundays, Mondays and holidays.

Parade of the Giants and Big Heads

Parade of the Giants and Big Heads

Parade of the Giants and Big Heads

Parade of the Giants and Big Heads (central Pamplona)(San Fermin week) – in this family-themed parade (known in Spanish as the “Comparsa de gigantes y cabezudos” — which is part of the San Fermín festivities), no bulls are involved, unless they are cartoon characters joining the family-oriented procession. Parents bring their children in strollers or perched on dad’s shoulders to see the giants, 13-foot papier-mâché figures representing the kings and queens of Europe, Asia, Africa and America. The Big-Heads circulate through the crowd for comic relief. Wearing oversize heads satirizing local celebrities, they walk the parade route accompanied by men dressed as cartoon characters who bop parade goers with foam balls.

Pamplona Food

Pamplona Food

Pamplona Food

Pamplona Food (tour) – this tour outfit specializes in conducting excursions that showcase the best foods and wines of Pamplona and Navarra province. Such tours may include visits to wineries and monasteries. Visitors should review its website for details: http://pamplonafood.com

Palacio Real de Olite

Palacio Real de Olite

Palacio Real de Olite

Palacio Real de Olite (Plaza de Carlos III ‘El Noble’, 31390 Olite, Navarra) — located in the Central Zone of Navarre, 42 k. south of Pamplona, the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) of Olite, the seat of the Court of Navarre until its union with Castile (1512), was one of the most luxurious medieval castles in Europe. The Royal Palace of Olite is proof of the splendor of the Court that Olite hosted during the Middle Ages. Declared a National Monument in 1925, it covers one-third of the old part of the town and is considered one of the most interesting Gothic complexes in Europe.

 

It was built over the remains of an ancient Roman fortress and underwent many transformations during the 13th-14th centuries. This part is known as the Palacio Viejo (Old Palace) and now houses the “Príncipe de Viana” Parador Nacional. Of the original building only the outer walls and the towers are conserved. Its façade is characterized by its large Gothic windows, the Renaissance main entrance and the watchtower. Its greatest splendour, however, was in the early 15th century thanks to King Carlos III ‘el Noble’, who brought a number of Iberian and European master builders to work on the castle-palace. The Palacio Nuevo was built in the French Gothic style of civil architecture. The King, who was born in Nantes, came from a great dynasty of French nobles, whose influence spurred on his imagination and good taste in the Palace at Olite, which became his favorite residence. Guided tour: €4.90 (adult), €3.50 (seniors, children ages 6-13). Times vary. See the Palacio’s website for more info: http://guiartenavarra.com

P2P Inline Marathon

P2P Inline Marathon

P2P Inline Marathon

P2P Inline Marathon (Pamplona) – held every September, the P2P (Pamplona – Puente la Reina) speed skating marathon – reputed to be the toughest such event in the world — starts in the center of historic Pamplona, in the iconic Plaza del Castillo Square. It goes through the most important streets of the city until arriving in the village of Zizur Mayor. After crossing Zizur Mayor, the course leaves the city behind and start passing through some incredible natural landscapes and rural areas. Before reaching the finish line in the town of Puente la Reina, the course goes through a number of small villages (Gazolaz, Paternain, Ororbia, Ibero, Etxauri, Ziriza, Etxarri, Belaskoain and Artazu). The race takes about one hour for the most experienced skaters and about two hours for the rest. See the event’s website for more details (including registration): http://pamplonapuente.org

Jai Alai

Jai Alai

Jai Alai

Jai Alai (regional sport) — Jai Alai (a.k.a. pelota) is a important Basque sports event during the San Fermin fiestas. The Labrit court, located in the Old Part of the city, fills to overflowing with jai alai enthusiasts anxious to witness the contests between the players. The tension is increased by the customary bets made by spectators.

 

The most important tournament is the San Fermin Trophy, one of the most prestigious hand-ball tournaments in Spain. The San Fermin Tournament, within the four and a half category, is contested from the 17th June onwards and counts on the presence of the best players. Navarra province has had, and continues to produce, renowned pelota players, amongst whom one should mention Retegui, Arretxe, Galarza, Bengoetxea, the Olaizola brothers, Eugi, Martínez de Irujo and Abel Barriola, among others.

 

This tradition is so deep-rooted that there are few towns that do not have a frontón (court) on their streets, some of them even located in buildings of traditional architecture as is the case of the “Trinquete” in Elizondo. In general, it is possible to play in any of them if you reserve in advance. The Frontón Labrit (Calle Jual Labrit, Pamplona) is a worthy place to see this sport in action. See its website for details: www.fnpelota.com

Fiesta de San Fermín

Fiesta de San Fermín

Fiesta de San Fermín

Fiesta de San Fermín – this event (the running of the bulls) is celebrated in Pamplona every year from July 6 – 14. Bulls are lead through the streets of the old quarter as far as the bull ring by runners. This event starts at the corral in Calle Santo Domingo when the clock on the church of San Cernin strikes eight o’clock in the morning. After the launching of two rockets, the bulls charge behind the runners for 825 meters, the distance between the corral and the bullring. The run usually lasts between three and four minutes although it has sometimes taken over ten minutes, especially if one of the bulls has been isolated from his companions.

 

Those participating in the run (encierro) should start somewhere between the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (City Hall Square) and the pink-slab Education building in the Cuesta of Santo Domingo, and they should be there before 7:30am because entry to the run is closed from that time on. The rest of the run, except for the stretch mentioned above, must be completely clear of runners until a few minutes before 8am.

 

Note: the running of the bulls is not for everyone. It requires cool nerves, quick reflexes and a good level of physical fitness. Anyone who does not have these three should not take part. It is a highly risky enterprise.

 

The Festival of San Fermín includes many more events and sights besides the bull related ones, such as parades, traditional Basque sports exhibitions and a nightly fireworks competition.