The Plaza del Castillo is the nerve centre of the city. It is a slightly irregular quadrilateral covering 14,000 square metres and has been and still is the stage for the main events conforming the idea of Pamplona: bullfights until 1844, battles, tournaments, markets, military parades, political and popular demonstrations, etc.
Many of the narrow lanes of Pamplona’s Historical Quarter stem off from this square. It is enveloped by houses mainly dating from the XVIII century with balconies, towers, penthouses and picture windows.
The bandstand, installed on the 28th of June 1943, is located in the middle of the square. It replaced a wooden predecessor from 1910, which, in turn, replaced the eighteenth-century fountain of the Beneficiencia, by Luis Paret, the main ornament on which was a statue of the Mariblanca now in the Taconera park. It has recently been restored.
The Plaza del Castillo is a typical meeting place for locals: to go shopping, for a drink, for a read on one of its benches or simply to watch the passers-by. It is known as “Pamplona’s living-room”. It is home to numerous cafeterias and street cafés, some of which are emblematic, such as Café Iruña, the Casino Principal and Casino Eslava.
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