This pentagon-shaped Renaissance-style fort with bastions and ravelins was instigated by king Philip II following a project by military engineer Giovan Giacomo Paleari Fratino, known as «El Fratín». In 1964 it was handed over to the City Council of Pamplona to create a public space for cultural and leisure activities. The complex stretches over 280,000 square metres and comprises pavilions, moats, bastions, ravelins, fortifications, minor buildings and glacis, and is today a place for leisure, sports and culture. Citadel is an urban landmark in Pamplona; it is also considered the best example of military architecture from the Spanish Renaissance and one of the most outstanding defensive ensembles in Europe. Citadel was born to protect Pamplona from the enemy, at the request of king Philip II, who had it built in 1571 to confront the constant raids of the French army. Its original structure was in the shape of a regular pentagon with five bastions at the corners, but the building of the city’s first urban extension – the Primer Ensanche district, made it necessary to demolish two of them. Handed over to the City Council in 1964, the Citadel complex and the surrounding Vuelta del Castillo park are today Pamplona’s great green lung, and they are home to 19 sculptures by authors such as Oteiza, Aizkorbe, Sada, J.A. Eslava, Orella, Larrea, Aguirre, Basterretxea, Anda or Gabino, among others.
In Citadel we find several EXHIBITION HALLS: Pabellón de Mixtos, Horno, Sala de Armas and Polvorín. Other than art exhibitions, further cultural activities and events are held both inside the buildings and outdoors in the gardens. During the San Fermín Festival, fireworks are launched from within. (FURTHER BUILDINGS: Cuerpo de Guardia and Lidia Biurrun Hall (formerly Philip II Hall), where civil marriages are celebrated). Public restrooms available.
Monday to Friday: 07:30 am to 9:30 pm
Saturday: 08:00 to 9:30 pm
Sundays and public holidays: 09:00 am to 9:30 pm
San Fermín: closed from 4 to 21 July.
Tuesday to Saturday: 11:30 am to 1:30 pm & 6 pm to 8:30 pm.
Sundays and public holidays: 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Monday: Closed.