Ronda

Ronda

 

Ronda is situated in a very mountainous area about 750 m (2,460 ft) above mean sea level. The Guadalevín River runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep, 100-plus-meter- deep El Tajo canyon upon which the city perches. The Spanish fir (abies pinsapo) is endemic to the mountains surrounding Ronda.

Ronda has become one of the most visited cities in Andalusia thanks to its great monumental heritage, its natural environment and its proximity to  the Mediterranean coast. Another places of interests are the wineries and bodegas, its vineyards are located at an altitude of about 750 m above the sea level.


Main sights

 

Three bridges, Puente Romano ("Roman Bridge", also known as the Puente San Miguel), Puente Viejo ("Old Bridge", also known as the Puente Árabe or "Arab Bridge"), and Puente Nuevo ("New Bridge").

The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, towering 120 m (390 ft) above the canyon floor, and all three serve as some of the city's most impressive features. The former town hall, which stands next to the Puente Nuevo, is the site of a parador, and has a view of the Tajo canyon.

Puente Viejo (Old Bridge), Calle Molino de Alarcón. This small bridge was the means of crossing the Tajo before the completion of the newer, larger one.

Palacio de Mondragón (Museo Municipal). A former Moorish palace with beautiful courtyards, a terrace, and a fantastic view. Today it houses a small museum dedicated to the history of the town.

The Casa del Rey Moro is to some extent a fraud, since the house was never the home of the Moorish King. It was built in the 18th Century, when Moorish Spain was already a distant memory. Its apparently Moorish gardens are even more recent, having been designed by the French landscape gardener, Jean Claude Forestier, in 1912. But the house does incorporate one genuine and important relic of Ronda's Moorish occupation - the so-called Water Mine.

The partially intact Baños árabes ("Arab baths") are found below the city and date back to the 13th and 14th centuries.

The 'Corrida Goyesca' is a unique and historical bullfight that takes place once a year in Ronda in the Plaza de toros de Ronda, the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain. It was built in 1784 in the Neoclassical style by the architect José Martin de Aldehuela, who also designed the Puente Nuevo.

Arco de Felipe V (Arch of Philip V), Calle Real. A beautiful arch, named for Phillip the Fifth

Plaza del Socorro is the modern political centre of Ronda, it was here that Blas Infante showed off the Andalusian flag and coat of arms for the first time in 1918. The parish church of Socorro (Parroquia de Nuestra Señora del Socorro) was only built in 1956. The building known as the Casino and Circulo de Artistas (Artists Society) is located on the north side of Ronda's Plaza del Socorro. This is a charming corner of the town where tourists enjoy their lunch, unaware that they are in the company of one of Andalucia's most famous historical venues.

The Palacio of the Marqués de Salvatierra opens irregularly as a small museum of Renaissance art and artefacts. The Palacio is an 18th-century renovation of an earlier 16th century building gifted to the family of Don Vasco Martín de Salvatierra by the Reyes Catolicos when they redistributed the spoils of the Reconquest. In 1994, Madonna obtained permit to shoot inside the palace of the Marquis of Salvatierra for the music video of Take a Bow.

Puerta de Almocábar. Ronda's primary Moorish gate separates La Ciudad from the Barrio de San Francisco. There are a couple sets of stairs leading to the top of the wall and to the watchtowers, which offer great views of the surrounding area.

Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor (Church of Santa Maria la Mayor).  This is most important church in Ronda, built after the reconquista on the site of town's former principal Moorish mosque, with construction lasting from 1485 until the end of the 17th century. The only features remaining from the mosque are the arch of the mirhab and a section of its wall covered with stucco, both hidden behind the retable of the main altar; additionally the former minaret was converted to the bell tower. This is a Gothic-style church that, inside, has elements of the Baroque and Rococo, as the church was partly rebuilt following the earthquake of 1580. The walnut and cedar choir seating dates from the Renaissance period. An unusual feature is a balcony on the front side of the church which faces the Ayuntamiento (city hall).


Iglesia de Espíritu Santo (Church of the Holy Spirit). Construction of this church began in 1485 and was completed 20 years later. The church has a nave with three vaults, and from the outside has the appearance of a fortification.

 


Events and Festivals

 

Ronda celebrates its traditional festivals, such as the Carnival, Holy Week, Corpus Christi and several fairs.

Feria de Pedro Romero (Festival of Pedro Romero). Beginning of September. Celebrated with parades and bullfights

The 'Corrida Goyesca' is a unique and historical bullfight that takes place once a year in Ronda in the Plaza de toros de Ronda, the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain.

It was built in 1784 in the Neoclassical style by the architect José Martin de Aldehuela, who also designed the Puente Nuevo.


Gastronomy

 

The center of Ronda is full of restaurants with tables in the streets and squares, traditional or contemporary cuisine with a high quality.

If you leave a bit the center you will find different styles of restaurants and tapas bars consolidated and most used by local people.

Another alternative is the "Ventas" Restaurants located outside the urban area and offering traditional food.  They usually have a homemade style and extensive menus of meat or fish. You can not miss the rice.


Museums

 

Palacio de Mondragón (Museo Municipal). A former Moorish palace with beautiful courtyards, a terrace, and a fantastic view. Today it houses a small museum dedicated to the history of the town.

Museo Lara. Recently opened following the initiative of Juan Lara Jurado, this museum houses a collection of more than 2000 works of art and antiquities. It is the largest private museum in Andalusia.

Rilke Museum, Permanent exhibition at the Hotel Reina Victoria,  Room 207 where the german poet spent three months in Ronda at the end of 1912 and beginning of 1913. 

Museo Bandolero (Museum of Bandits),The only museum in Spain devoted to the history of bandits (bandoleros), which were widespread throughout the region in the 19th century.

Museo de Peinado (Palacio de Moctezuma), . Joaquin Peinado was born in 1898 in Ronda and died in 1975 in Paris. Artistically he was a descendant of Cézanne and spiritual son of Picasso, and he is often described as the most elegant of the painters from the so-called 'Spanish School' of Paris. Paintings from the painter's career, which spanned from 1923-1974 are on display. The collection includes more than 190 pieces, including some lesser-known works from the painter's private collection. Particularly noteworthy paintings include Still Life with Pears, Figure with Dove, Fruit Basket, and Female Nude.:The museum is housed in a palace named after the last Aztec king, in the center of La Ciudad. The building from the 19th century has mixed architectural influences, and both courtyards are worth looking at.

Wine Museum. The permanent exhibition of the museum focuses on the history of wine in Ronda, for which various objects related to the production of wine in the region have been recovered


Shopping

 

Ronda is noted for distinctive white enamelled ceramic, which is used for everyday domestic ware. There are plenty of ATMs dotted about the Mercadillo, or the main commercial district.

Carretera Espinel (Calle la Bola). The main pedestrian shopping street, stretching from the bullring to Avenida Málaga. Shops here cater not only to tourists but also the town's inhabitants, and you can find everything here to meet your daily needs for reasonable prices. (Trivia: "La bola" means "ball" in Spanish; the street earned its nickname when, after a heavy snowfall, a group of citizens rolled a large snowball down its slope.)