Pamplona´s town hall is the center point during the week of the running of the bulls. Everything starts here on July 6th at noon. About 12000 people gathers in the square to celebrate San Fermin. It is a moment of joy and party, unfortunatelly not too many people realize how beautiful our city hall really is. let me show it to you in detail!
The proud city hall in Pamplona
This beautiful baroque building was constructed in the 1700s in order to replace our old city hall. Its location was not a coincidence. Back then, this square was the exact center of the city. The city hall square was also the battle ground for the internal wars of the different neighbours in the city during middle ages.
In the façade you will find several sculptures that represent the values of a good city hall. At the door, we are welcomed by two ladies. The one with the sword represents Law. The other one, holding a mirror, represents Prudence. When a mayor makes a decision, they always have to be following the law. But as we know, the law can be interpreted in different ways. So a good mayor has to be prudent and rule in favor of the people. To do that, the mayor needs to hold a mirror that faces the people, not him.
One curiosity—at the feet of the two sculptures, you will find two versions of Pamplona’s sea level altitude: one considering it from the Mediterranean Sea and the other from the Atlantic Ocean. Notice that they are a bit different. Spain is tilted towards the Mediterranean.
At the highest level of the façade, you will find two men who look like baseball players. Obviously, they are not. They are both Hercules, representing Strength. Once the mayor makes a right decision they have to be strong to implement it.
To finish, at the very top of the City Hall you will find a lady with a trumpet who represents Success. If you follow the law and you are prudent and strong, for sure you will succeed.
At the jamb of the front door, engraved in stone, so we never forget, we have a sentence in Latin that welcomes everybody in town: patet omnibus janua cor valde magis, which means “the doors are open, but even more the heart.”
Many times, I have been asked about the lions on the door way. You have to remember that Navarra was a very powerful Kingdom long time ago. According to heraldic symbolism, a crowned Lion standing on two feet, is the representation of power
OUR OFFICIAL FLAGS
On the second-floor balcony, you will find our official flags. Oh boy, is this still a hot topic in town? You bet it is. In a previous post titeled “What is being Basque today” I touched a little bit on this, but I think I should write about the separatism movement and the issue if we are Basque here in Navarre or if we are not Basque in a future post.
So, the question is: Should the Basque flag (called Ikurriña) by represented at Pamplona´s Town Hall? The answer is NO, it should not be there, at this moment it would be illegal to do so. Although we are here in Navarra the birth place of the Basque culture, this is not the Basque Country so the Ikurriña can not be there.
The official ones are as follow:
– The one with three horizontal lines (red, yellow and red) represents Spain.
– The red one with some chains, represents the state of Navarre.
– The full green with a lion in the middle, represents the city of Pamplona
– The blue one with the stars is the European Union flag.
Check out this video to learn about the inside of our city hall. Unfortunately, it is not open to the public.