Although it is popularly known as the "White Horse" belvedere, its real name is "Baluarte do Redin".
The views from this belvedere are some of the most beautiful. This viewpoint forms part of the wall, and from it, we can see different neighbourhoods of Pamplona: Rochapea, Chantre and Saint George. It is also possible to see Saint Cristopher Mount and the Arga river. When looking further down, we can see the defensive constructions enlarged in the XVI and XVII centuries, such as the ditches at the fortress´ foot and the new fortifications.
Due to its star shape was considered the best defensive point in the city and the most inaccessible one. This viewpoint is close to one of the gates of the wall known as the "Gate of France" ("Portal" of France), Santiago of Compostela entrance in Pamplona city. The viewpoint is easily accessible and is located behind the cathedral. You need a walk on the left side to reach Saint Joseph Square, and you will find a small and picturesque street known as "Redin Street" (Calle del Redin), which will lead you to the viewpoint.
LET´S TASTE A "FRIED" TAPA?
The concept is higher when we talk about "go for skewers" (pinchos) in Northern Spain. The skewers are portions of the best dish but are presented in the smallest size.
The fried tapas are this kind of skewers very popular in Pamplona. Almost every bar in the historic centre has a different fried food speciality.
To understand better what is this fried "tapa" we could explain it as a giant croquette. But it is not a croquette because, in this fried croquette, the béchamel cream does not mix with the rest of the ingredients as it does in the croquette. We talk about fried paprika, anchovies, mushrooms, dates, codfish, mussels, goat, spinach, octopus, sea urchin, offal meat, pickled cucumbers and so on.
The thin béchamel cream surrounds the component that gives "fried of." its name and all of this is covered with crispy Milanese crust.
As far as gastronomy is concerned, these starters started with the use of leftovers from the houses. Later, these delicacies were converted into stars on the bar counters.
As it is impossible to advertise any specific location, you will find out by asking the local people where the best and other fried pickled cucumber are. It is served in one of the oldest bars in Pamplona, founded in 1898 in the historic centre. You can also try one of the most popular fried "tapa", the fried egg in a vermouth bar that opened on January 17th, 2015. A fry counter was placed in this place, and today, exactly four months before the 6th anniversary of its opening, 991059 fried eggs have already been served.
CARLOS III STREET, THE NOBLE.
This is Pamplona´s most famous shopping street. It starts at Conde de Castillo Square and goes until Conde de Rodenzo Square.
When you walk down this pedestrian street, you will find all the well-known stores, monuments, and interesting buildings such as the Deputies Palace, the Forum, the Gayarre Theater, and the Running Bulls Monument. The entire route is adorned with flowers and plants, making the time for shopping very pleasant.
If you want to buy something typical of the city, you will have to go back to the historic centre. And if you haven´t tasted at any time the skewers (pinchos), it is time to buy a pork sausage ("chistorra"). This is a typical meal of this place, and its secret is the way it is fried, you have to know if you like it more fried or less fried, only this!
Another thing that people used to buy is the typical famous red handkerchief that the young men and women wear around their necks from July 6th to July 14th.
BULLS, CLOCKS AND SQUARES
It is not possible to recommend just one place to take nice pictures in Pamplona. Walking around the city, you will see many exciting places to register, and you will need to choose yours!
On Estafeta Street and Mercaderes Street, two stores are full of typical products such as handkerchiefs and articles related to San Fermin festivities. We even found an Ernest Hemingway welcoming us at the door in one of these stores, but the most exciting thing was a herd of stuffed bulls inside the store. Many people pass by to take pictures in this environment, looking as if they are running from the bulls.
It is a nice picture, but you have to pay for it.
Another exciting place to take pictures is at the end of Estafeta Street: the clock indicates how many days, hours, minutes and seconds are left until the following San Fermin festivities.
And obviously, we will recommend a photo at the City Hall Square. Every July 6th, this square is on television worldwide, full of people dressed in white and red. The surprise of taking a picture inthis square on another day without the sanfermines is that the yard seems to be small. The yard is tiny, but the registered effect of seeing the court on July 6th at noon is registered in our retina. On this day, the square reaches its maximum capacity of approximately 11—3 people per square meter.
The minor street in Pamplona is on one side of the small San Jose Square. It is a 23meters long street with a gate open during the day and closed at night. It is a dead-end street. A famous saying: "get out if you can and get in if you let them".
The street is tranquil, there are only a few houses, and at the end is the Discalced Carmelite Nuns Convent. It is an ideal place for a closure convent, and it is also a perfect place to find a quiet moment in the heart of the city.
SAN FERMIN CHAPEL
Practically everyone knows "San Fermin". In this case, we are not referring to the saint himself but the popular festivities in July in Pamplona. If someone is in the city and wants to visit the saint that gives the name to these festivities, they may be a little disappointed because there is no church dedicated to this essential saint in Pamplona.
Saint Fermin, or rather, the original statue of this saint, spends his days waiting to leave in the procession of July 7th, inside the San Lorenzo Church, where he has his tiny chapel. So if you want to visit him, you know where to find him.
CLIMBING IN THE NEW CASTLE
One thing that is not very common in this city is climbing Pamplona´s wall. The New Castle or "Ciudadela" is located a few meters from the Pamplona centre. What used to be military fortifications is nowadays a place with sports and cultural activities in the middle of gardens.
This place was commissioned by Philip II in 1571 and was part of the plan to renovate the Pamplona fortifications. Nowadays, it is considered to be the best example of Spanish Renaissance military architecture. A few years ago, this place on some sections of the wall was enabled to practice climbing without a rope.
If you like climbing or dare to take up this challenge, here, you will find a historic place to practise it.
HOW MANY SANFERMINES ARE THERE IN PAMPLONA?
One of the places you cannot miss, above all because of the emotional charge it represents for Pamplona´s inhabitants, is visiting the niche in the wall of Santo Domingo Street. This is the place where the young men who are involved in the bull´s running go to sing for asking Saint Fermin´s protection during the running. The first song is at 7. 55a. m, the second is at 7. 57am, and the third is at 7. 59am because at 8. 00a. m the fireworks are let off, the corral doors are opened, and the horned bulls come out the door to start the running.
But what almost nobody knows is that Saint Fermin that is in the niche of this street is not the original, nor is it the one in its chapel in San Lorenzo Church, nor is it there permanently.
There is a Saint Fermin that remains throughout the whole year in this niche to the pamplonenses´ pride.
But on the race days, the statue is changed from 1978, bought by some of Pamplona´s young men devoted to Saint Fermin.
First of all, the statue was placed in the Military Hospital, which no longer exists. Later on, they started putting it in the niche on race days. This image is kept in some young men´s houses, excepton race days, when the image is in the City Hall. The image is taken at 7. 15 am and placed in the niche for the race, and then put back into storage when the event is over. When all San Fermin festivities are over, the statue returns to the house of the same family in which the image had been throughout the year, returning to take its place.
The original image that leaves in the procession, the most important religious event of all festivities, remains in Saint Fermin Chapel in Saint Laurence Church.
The bulls´ running is the most famous event in Pamplona. Possibly many people know the city because of this festival celebrated between July 6 and 14 in Saint Fermin´s honour.
Therefore we believe that one of the most exciting rides that we can do in this city is the one that the young men and the bulls do every morning at 8. 00a. m short every day from July 7th to July 14th .
We leave the Santo Domingo hill at the point where the statue of Saint Fermin´s replica is placed every morning. This is also where the young man sings, asking for the saint´s protection during the bulls´ running. From there, we go up to the emblematic City Hall Square, where we find the precious 1753 baroque building. This square is where on July 6th at noon, the fireworks are set off to start the festivities.
At the top of the square, we will turn left in the direction of Mercaderes St. In a few steps. We will turn right into Estafeta St. We will walk down this street to the end of it. It is a street full of bars and souvenirs shops, and at the end, we will find Bulls Square, which is the highlight of this walking tour because it is where the bulls´ running finishes every morning during the San Fermin´s eight days Festivities.
IRUÑA CAFE (IRUÑA COFFEE)
In the middle of Castillo Square is the Cafe Iruna terrace, one of the historic cafeterias of the city. It was inaugurated in 1888, and it was also the first place to have electricity. It was decorated in a romantic style, with period lamps, large mirrors and wrought iron columns, thus maintaining the essence of the XIX century.
This Cafe is frequented by neighbours and foreigners and was one of the American writer Hemingway´s favourite places. So in his honour, inside the cafeteria, we can find Hemingway´s rhinestone with a life-size bronze. Also, there is a restaurant, a bar and a fantastic terrace in number 44 of central Pamplona Square.
This Cafe has a delicious gastronomic offer, from the menus prepared for the restaurant to a wide selection of skewers (pinchos) cold or hot. This is a place for relaxing, and then we will continue our walking tour.
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