Ronda is a Spanish municipality of 36,827 inhabitants located in the autonomous community of Andalusia. It's one of the oldest and most beautiful Andalusian towns that, in part, preserves its ancient Arab structure. It's located on a plateau overlooking the west to the height of 200 meters above the plain in the region called Serrania. A profoundly impressive split (tajo) over a width of 60-80 meters and with a 160-meter overhang on the Guadalevín stream divides the city into two parts joined by the Puente Nuevo built in 1784-88. Two other bridges are: one of Roman construction (Puente de San Miguel) and one of Arab origin (puente Viejo) reconstructed. The city is bordered to the east by the natural park of the Sierra de las Nieves, to the south by the Valle del Genal, to the west by the Sierra de Grazalema and to the north by plains in the direction of Campillos. Communications with neighboring territories is guaranteed by a road network that crosses numerous mountain passes, offering travelers a wonderful landscape. Rail transport is carried out by Talgo trains going to Algeciras and Madrid.
Around the city have been found prehistoric remains dating back to the Neolithic period including the cave paintings of the Cueva de la Pileta. The origins of Ronda go back to the Celts, which, in the VI century BC, they called it Arunda. Later, the Phoenicians settled in a nearby village, which they called Acinipo. Arunda, after being conquered by the Greeks, changed its name to Runda.
Ronda was founded as a result of the Second Punic War, during the campaign that the Roman general, Scipio commanded against the Carthaginians who dominated the Iberian Peninsula at the end of the III century BC With the construction of the castle of Laurus it was favored the settlement of the population all around ; until, at the time of Julius Caesar, it was recognized as municipium and the inhabitants (together with those of the nearby Acinipo) became Roman citizens.
In the fifth century, with the end of the Roman Empire, the city was taken for the suevos under the command of Rechila, then passing through a Byzantine period, in which Acinipo was definitively abandoned, until Leovigildo integrated it into the Visigothic kingdom.
In 711, there was the Muslim invasion of the Iberian peninsula and, in 713, the current Ronda opened its doors, without a fight, to the Berber leader Zaide Ben Kesadi El Sebseki. The city changed its name to Izn-Rand Onda (the city of the castle) becoming the capital of the Andalusian province of Takurunna. With the dissolution of the Caliphate of Cordoba, Ronda converted into an independent Taifa kingdom, supported by Abu Nur Hilal ben Abi Qurra: during this period most of the Islamic monumental heritage of Ronda was built. Abu Son Hilal was succeeded by his son Abú Nasar whose death (by murder) led Ronda to become part of the Sevillian kingdom of Abbad II al-Mu'tadid.
The Islamic period of the city ended when, on 22 May 1485, King Ferdinand the Catholic managed to take it after a prolonged siege, tearing it from the Sultanate of Granada. Many monuments erected by the Muslims were remodeled according to the new situation that the city lived, which began a new flourishing period that made it grow extending with new neighborhoods such as those of Mercadillo and San Francisco, while the old Arab core got to know itself as La Ciudad ( The city).
In 1572 the Real Maestranza of Cavalleria di Ronda was founded with the purpose of training for the defense and the wars of the kingdom.
In the eighteenth century important buildings were built, including the Ponte Nuevo, which became the symbol of the city, and the Plaza de toros. From this time the romantic myths of bandoleri and bullfighters were created. The Castle of Laurel, fortress of Ronda, was demolished by the French in their retreat. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the economic activity of Ronda continued to be predominantly rural, being the central point of the countries of the Serranìa and having the moment of maximum splendor at the beginning of the twentieth century with the advent of the railway.
In 1918 the Assembly of Ronda was celebrated, in which the current design of the flag was decided, the anthem of Andalusia and its emblem. In this period the Caja Ahorros of Ronda began to consolidate, which strongly pushed the economy of the city until its merger in 1990 with other banking entities in Unicaja.
Among the city monuments, there is undoubtedly the Nuevo Bridge located on the Garganta del Tajo together with the Viejo Bridge and the Arab Bridge.
The pool in the cold room of the Arab baths In the old part, known as La ciudad, there is the Chiesa Maggiore, the Church of the Holy Spirit, the Town Hall, the Wine Museum of Ronda, the Mondragone palace and the palace of the Marquis of Salvatierra, the Casa del King Moro from which more down the bottom of the ravine using the stairs of the mine, the Casa del Gigante, the Manarete-Alminar of San Sebastian and many houses-palace, streets and squares very beautiful. Passing through the Slope of the Images is the District of San Francisco where you can admire the Almocabar Gate and the Arab wall that surrounded Ronda and which reaches the Arabian Bridge one of the best preserved bridges in Spain.
Next to the Arab bridge, you can visit the remains, in excellent condition, of the Arab baths. These baths included a cold room (frigidarium), a lukewarm (tiepidarium) and a warm (caldarium). The heating system partly reused that of the Roman baths that stood in the same place. The water needed to create the steam was recovered from the nearby stream thanks to a system operated by a mule and a small aqueduct.
In the modern area is the Parador de Turismo, built in place of the old town hall and the Abastos market; the Plaza de toros, property of the Real Maestranza, the oldest plaza de toros in Spain and with the largest radius in the world; the Alemada park, which overlooks the overhang, lots of greenery and the new Espinel Theater; Churches of Socorro, La Merced and the Scalzi in others. The Carrera Espinel road, one kilometer long and pedestrianized with new features, popularly known as Calle de la Bola (Strada della Palla), because, according to tradition, some children formed a large snowball (using its slight slope in one of those rare years of snow in Andalusia); in it there are many shops of all kinds and this is where the city's commercial activity develops. Continuing northwards, many modern districts of Ronda extend. You can visit the Ronda Wine Museum, which is open in an emblematic house-palace and ancient cellar.
Casa del Rey Moro
La Casa del Rey Moro is a palace located in the historic center of Ronda, Spain.
It is an irregular and labyrinthine building, with numerous stairs that serve to overcome the differences in height and a façade with two towers of different heights to follow the curve of the road. The back of the house overlooks the deep - tajo - gorge that forms the Guadalevín. Here, you pass through terraced gardens at different levels. The gardens were designed by architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier and are decorated with azulejos, fountains, and ponds with water lilies.
Inside the gardens, there is a mine of Arab origin, which reaches the bottom of the pit through a staircase of about 60 meters.