Pamplona (Basque: Iruñea) is the capital city of Navarre, Spain. It has a population of 171,150, and is 92 kilometres from the town of San Sebastián, and 407 kilometres from Madrid.
Ernest Hemingway made Pamplona famous and was duly rewarded for it by having a street named after him, Avenida de Hemingway.
The area around Pamplona is hot, dry, arid and very similar to the landscape found in parts of Southern California and Northern Mexico. The city itself is very green: together with the old section of the city, which hosts San Fermin, with its cobbled streets, it is a pleasant tourist destination.
Located at an altitude of 444m above sea level on a hill overlooking the Arga River and which overlooked the surrounding valley, Pamplona was populated from very remote times. In the winter of 74-75 B.C., the area served as a camp for the Roman general Pompeyo. He is considered to be the founder of "Pompaelo" (Pamplona).
By the 2nd century, Pamplona was a significant Roman town with a forum and hot baths. By 409, however, Pamplona was controlled by the Visigoths - it serves as an episcopal see from the end of the seventh century - and from the eighth century, it was under domination by the Moors. After his expedition to Zaragoza in 778, Charlemagne tore down the walls surrounding Pamplona.
In 1515 the area of Navarra associated itself with the Castiles and became an autonomous kingdom with its own institutions and laws. By the 17th century, Pamplona became a fortress on the edge of the Pyrenees.
The neoclassic facade of the Cathedral was undertaken in 1783.
The city did not escape the regional wars of the 19th century. French troops occupied the city after a surprise attack, pretending to be citizens playing nearby with snow balls, remained in Pamplona until 1813. During the Carlist Wars (1833, 1872) Pamplona supported the Isabelian monarchy, as opposed to rural Navarra which fought in favor of the pretender to the throne, Don Carlos.
Pamplona has maintained the medieval outlay of the town, but expanded to include suburbs in the past 100 years. The city is home to two universities: the Universidad de Navarra in 1960, founded by the Opus Dei, and the Universidad Pública de Navarra, created by the government of Navarra in 1987.