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Pamplona is located in the northeast of Spain, and is the capital of the region ofNavarra. Many people have heard of the city because of the Bull Running once immortalised by the author Ernest Hemingway in his famous book, The Sun Also Rises, but it was also an important city on the pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela. Pamplona has kept its old quarter, with the Plaza del Castillo at its centre, and there are an abundance of bars that stay lively throughout the whole year. Pamplona is also well placed to tour the Pyrenees further north.

Pamplona became capital of the Navarre kingdom in the early10th century. The city had a golden era in the reign of Charles III who is intered in the cathedral. In the late 15th century Navarre formed a joint kingdom with nearby Castile. About this time a young Spanish nobleman called Ignatius Loyola, was badly wounded while defending Pamplona from the French invaders. He later started the Order of Jesuits and later became a saint.

The Pamplona Fiestas de San Fermin, in July, is one of Spains most exciting yearly events. Held in honour of thepatron saint, the fiesta is world renowned for the Running of the Bulls (or in Spainsh, el encierro), which is held every morning, with afternoons set aside for the actual bullfighting, while the evenings are have lots of feasting,plus some lively partying. You can also see lots of fireworks and music all through the festival week. Usually attracting about half a million tourists who descend on Pamplona during the festival, so accommodation will be at a premium and booked up well in advance.

The old bullring, now the Plaza del Castillo, lies at the centre of Pamplona and close to this square is the calle Estafeta where the actual running takes place. There are also plenty of bars and good restaurants along this street.

The Cathedral of Pamplona is one of the most popular sights in the city. Built in the 14th century, it is notable for the Gothic ceiling in the Barbazan Chapel. In the middle is the tomb of Charles III and Queen Leonor, while thecathedral museumdisplays a collection of medieval antiquities.

The Palace of Navarra was the royal home of the Navarran kings up to the 16th century and was one of themost luxurious castles in Europe. Other local attractions include the San Saturnino Church with its tall towers.

An old 16th century hospital is the location for the Museum of Navarre, with the painting of the Marquis de San Adrian by Goya, a selection of Iron Age and Roman relics, a few Flemish paintings on copper and murals from the 13th century.

The local tourist office is located on the Calle Estava and is open each day. Pamplona airport is just over 4 miles from the city centre.
For more advice and tourist information about Pamplona please see Pamplona Spain.

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