Pamplona

From the Roman Foundation to the Hemingway fascination

23 Sep 2019
The main city in Navarre was set as a military camp back in 74BC and named after the Roman leader Gnaeus Pompey Magnus. So, it was called Pompey (the same as the city in modern Italy buried by the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano) or Pompaelo. The name evolved over time to Pamplona.
 
The city was the capital of Kingdom of Navarre all the way from early 9th century to 1512 when Spain annexed Iruna and the area around it. There were periods of total independence of Navarre followed by times of rule or domination by France, Aragon and eventually – the Kingdom of Castille that later formed modern-day Spain.
 
Pamplona remained a vital place after Spain annexed it. It was and still is a stop for the pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago.
 
The fame of Pamplona reached new heights, thanks to Ernest Hemingway. The great American writer first visited Pamplona in 1923 when neither he or the city were names familiar to the vast majority of people around the world. Ernest Hemingway fell in love with the place and visited it nine times literally obsessed by the San Fermin craze. In 1926, a novel came out named Fiesta, later on, renamed to The Sun Also Rises. This book is often considered to be the most significant fiction created by the American novelist. There is a statue of Hemingway sitting at the bar in the historic Café Iruña – one of his favourite spots in Pamplona, bearing the Basque name of the city.

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