Ronda, Spain

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Ronda is located in the northwest of the province of Malaga (Andalusia - Spain). The town is situated on a plateau - 750 meters altitude. It is divided into two parts by the famous Tajo de Ronda (Ronda Cliff), a gorge 100 meters deep and about 500 meters long with the River Guadalevín running down.

The Gorge in Ronda, Spain The Gorge in Ronda, Spain

According different sources, the first settlers were the Celts or the Iberians in 6th century BC. Both the tribes were neighbors.
Afterwards, there was Phoenician, Greek, Carthaginian presence in that region. It was fortified by Romans in the Second Punic War, but the fortress was later destroyed.
In the 5th century AD Ronda was conquered by the Suebi and Visigoths. In 713 BC the Arabs occupied it and lived here almost 800 years/until1485 BC/, when the Catholics by the Marquis of Cádiz, took it back.
In the early 19th century, during the Napoleonic invasion and the Peninsular War the population decreased 3 times in the following three years.

Plaza del Socorro - Ronda, Spain Plaza del Socorro

Plaza del Socorro is the modern political centre of Ronda in front of which there is a beautiful fountain with a statue of Hercules holding two tamed lions. The building behind the fountain is called “Circulo de Artistas”. That is the place where the father of Andalusian nationalism, Blas Infante, standing on the first floor balcony, unfurled the flag and the symbols of Andalusia in 1918.
The parish church of Socorro, (Parroquia de Nuestra Señora del Socorro) built in 1956, also stands on Plaza del Socorro.

Alameda Del Tajo

At the end of 18th century it was decided that a tree-lined promenade be created near Tajo and it was built in 1806 and it was known as the Alameda de San Carlos.
At the entrance a statue of Pedro Romero stands. He was an 18th century bullfighter from Ronda, the first one who didn’t fight on a horse but on his feet.
Today the park is divided into five promenades separated by gardens. Visitors can enjoy extraordinary panoramic views from the numerous balconies.

Alameda Del Tajo - Ronda, Spain View from Alameda Del Tajo - Ronda, Spain

Plaza De Toros/Bullring Arena/

The Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda (Royal School of Cavalry) was created in 1573, which aimed to organize cavalry units for defensive purposes. Today, the Real Maestranza is a non-profit organization which maintains the horse-riding school.

The bullring is the first one, built for bullfighting purpose in the world,  and the first fight was performed in 1785 by the matadors Pedro Romero and Pepe Hillo.

Plaza De Toros/Bullring Arena/ - Ronda, Spain Plaza De Toros/Bullring Arena/ - Ronda, Spain

The arena diameter is 66 meters. A series of Tuscan columns forms sixty arches of the public galleries and the roof was built in Moorish style.
The Bullfighting Museum, placed below the public galleries, provides the  history of  bullfights, horse riding and the role of Ronda.

Plaza De Toros/Bullring Arena/ - Ronda, Spain Plaza De Toros/Bullring Arena/ Museum - Ronda, Spain
Puente Nuevo/The New Bridge/ in Ronda, Spain

Puente Nuevo/The New Bridge/

A new bridge connecting the highest points of El Mercadillo/the New City/ and La Ciudad/the Old City/ was of great need. The first attempt was done in 1734, but the bridge collapsed in 1741, killing 50 people in the gorge.

The current bridge/98m high, 66m wide/ was built from 1759 to 1793. The original design was done by Domingo Lois de Monteagudo, who participated in it construction until 1778. Due to delays of the works in the next years, one of the best Andalucian architects, José Martin de Aldehuela, who finally completed it.

We can see one main arch and two top arches. There is also a room in center, situated on the top of the main arch, which room was used as a prison in19th century and during the Spanish Civil War. Nowadays it is used as a museum. Puente Nuevo/The New Bridge/ in Ronda, Spain

Crossing Puente Nuevo, while you enjoy the Tajo gorge and the river down below/rio Guadalevin/ you will reach another world - La Ciudad/the Old town/.

Following that way, we reach the Duchess of Parcent Square, where the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria De La Incarnacion Mayor, City Hall and Convento of Santa Isabel De Los Angeles and Sanctuary of Maria Auxiliadora are located.

Collegiate Church of Sta. Maria De La Incarnacion Mayor in Ronda, Spain Collegiate Church of Sta. Maria De La Incarnacion Mayor

Once Ronda had been conquered by the Catholics in 1485, the Main Mosque was transformed into a Christian church. The church had status of an abbey, collegiate church and in 19th century was converted into High Parish.
Casa Consitorial/City Hall/

Located on a market place from 16th century, it was built as a military quarter in 1734. After the Peninsular War it was abandoned until 1818, when it was reconstructed for cavalry. The current building is a result of a restoration in 1973.
Casa Consitorial/City Hall/ in Ronda, Spain
The Almocabar gate in Ronda, Spain The Almocabar gate and Church of the Holy Spirit/Espiritu Santo/

Today, well conserved and restored, the Almocabar gate is located in the south. Built in 13th century and the name comes from the Arab word “Al-Maqabir” – cemetery, just because of its location – near the main city cemetery.
Next to Almocabar gate the Church of the Holy Spirit/Espiritu Santo/ is situated. Looking mostly like a fortress, the Church construction works started in 1485, the same year Ronda was conquered by the Catholics. The works took 20 years, until its completion in 1505.
The Arab Bridge/Puente Arabe/

Next to the Arab Baths, heading to the new quarter a visitor will pass by the Arab bridge also known as Roman bridge or the bridge of San Miguel, which is supposed to be the oldest one.
The Arab Bridge/Puente Arabe/ in Ronda, Spain
The Old Bridge/Puente Viejo/ in Ronda, Spain The Old Bridge/Puente Viejo/

Built in the 16th Century, it was the second of the bridges joining the new and old quarter, before the construction of the New bridge/Puente Nuevo/.

Ronda is unique with its nature, location, history, views and sights. It will remain in the heart of every visitor forever.

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Map of Ronda, Spain

Ronda, Spain

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