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Ronda

Ronda seems to be one of these unique places where every time you go there you will discover something new. The city is enchanting and breathtaking. Every time you visit you will be astounded that a place of such beauty and historic importance is only a short drive from the modern attractions of the Coastline.

To really appreciate Ronda it is better if you know its general history; Ronda is one of the oldest cities in Spain dating back to the Neolithic Age (New Stone Age, 8000 – 5500 BCE) however the most important human settlements were in the Middle Age. It is in the 18th Century, and the arrival of the Modern Age, that Ronda has developed into the city that we can appreciate today as the construction of the New Bridge and the Bullring were completed.

The New Bridge, perhaps the most famous and most impressive landmark in Ronda, began its construction in 1735 by King Philip V, however works ceased only 8 months later due to the arch collapsing and 50 people were killed. Construction started again in 1751 and finished in 1793, 42 years later. The Bridge as we see it today stands 98 metres tall and is built from stone masonry taken from the depth of Tajo´s gorge and connects the modern and old parts of the city.

Ronda’s bullring due to its history, architecture, character and beauty is recognized as one of the oldest in Spain. The bullring opened with its 1st bullfight in 1785 after 6 years construction and fights are still regularly held there. The bullring is one of the most impressive buildings in Ronda and together with its museum they are worth a visit.

It is difficult to know where to begin when recommending what to do during a visit to Ronda. The history of the city, blended with designer boutiques, modern bars and cafes have developed Ronda into a very cosmopolitan place. There really is something for everyone. You can chose to spend the day wandering around the city and have lunch at one of the many cafes overlooking the gorge. The cultural centre of Ronda, where the gorge and bullring are located, is filled with cafes, shops and buildings of great historical interest. You could quite easily spend the day wondering around and soaking up the ambience of the city. A good choice is to spend time in the city gardens, by following this trail you will gain the best vantage points of the gorge and surrounding country side. The terraced gardens wind down to the Arch of Philip V and the city walls before returning to the New Bridge. After that there is nothing better than relaxing in the sunshine enjoying the stunning views and rolling countryside. For those romantic at heart, a ´must´ is spending an evening dining on a terrace restaurant overlooking the valley and the gorge. A recommendation is that you dine at early as you can watch the sun set over the rolling countryside. The sight is spectacular and it is enhanced even more when the bridge is lit up after dark. This experience really is incredible.

More Places of Interest in Andalucia

Copyright by Damian Barrington