September 2015. It was mid-afternoon in Pamplona during siesta time as I made my way down the deserted Calle de la Curia for a truly picture perfect approach to the neoclassical façade of Pamplona Cathedral. All the shops were shuttered up, there were no people blocking my view and not so much as a pin drop to be heard. Construction began in 1397 but the project was a long and troubled one, with the cathedral not getting finished until 1501.
September 2015. Unlike its neoclassical exterior, inside Pamplona Cathedral is a largely French-Gothic affair. As the seat of The Royal Court for over three hundred years, a number of Spain’s mediaeval kings were crowned in Pamplona Cathedral and some of them were laid to rest right here along with several princes. You’ll find them down in the crypt, along with their sculptures.
September 2015. My favorite part of the cathedral was its large cloister, an arched square with an upper story where all the rooms overlook a pretty garden. I remember it had just started raining as I strolled about with some distant thunder breaking out for good measure. The cloister is connected to the Barbazana Chapel and the refectory.
September 2015. This is the cathedral refectory (large communal dining room) that back in its pomp could host over a hundred people for dinner. You can also poke your head into the adjacent kitchen with its huge pyramidal chimney. I suspect the microwave might have been a recent addition.
September 2015. Pamplona Cathedral is open to visitors Monday to Friday from 10:00-14:00 & 16:00-19:00, Saturdays 10:00-14:00. Tickets are priced at €5 for adults and €3 for children ages 7 to 13. Under 7s get in for free. If you have a special interest in the cathedral’s history why not consider the guided morning tour at 11:15, which includes a usually restricted viewing of Spain’s second largest church bell.
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