Ronda is one of the most beautiful places in Andalusia. It is located on a rocky promontory. Divided in two by the Guadalevin River It’s famous for the Puente Nuevo, the bridge linking the two sides of the El Tajo Canyon.
Puente Nuevo and Museum
We have seen this iconic bridge so many times in photographs and we wanted to see it for ourselves.
Construction started in 1734 and the first attempt to span the gorge was completed with one span, but it was not strong enough to withstand the stresses and in 1741 the bridge collapsed killing 50 people. Construction commenced on the current bridge in 1759, standing 98m from base to top and taking 34 years to build.
An interpretation museum is inside the bridge, in a room under the road.
During the Civil War both sides used the prison as a torture chamber and some unfortunate prisoners were thrown over the bridge into the gorge below!Read more about the Puente Nuevo
La Cas Del Dulce
Passing the bakery we couldn’t resist the freshly baked mantecada biscuits. A delicious almond biscuit baked by the nuns.
House of the Moorish King
Not far away from Ronda’s Puente Nuevo is ‘La Casa del Rey Moro’ – allegedly the house of a Moorish King – hence its name. However, the current building is an 18th century palace so its claims seem slightly exaggerated! with beautiful gardens designed by Forestier, the famous French garden designer.
We did explore the water mine that were in the gardens which were fascinating. Apparently originally powered by Christian Slaves!Read more about the Casa del Rey Moro
These 13th century thermal baths are the best preserved in Spain. Situated close to the river in the artisans and tanners quarter. An excellent film explains what they were like in ancient times. The walk toward the town center has the most amazing views. We left the baths and turned left and went up a staircase to the mudejar gate into Ronda.
Close by is a water wheel still intact that dates from the Moorish era.Read more about the Baños Árabes
Jardines de Cuenca
We walked back up the hill on the other side of the gorge through the hanging gardens. There were beautiful views of the bridges and the gorge, and also plenty of benches to sit down rest on!Read more about the Jardines de Cuenca
Plaza de Toros de Ronda
This was recognized as the first purpose built bullring in Spain. Built in 1785 it can host 5,000 people. We saw the bulls pens and the riding school.
I had mixed feelings about visiting the bullring with the cruelty and certain death of the tortured bull. However, reading the history of bullfighting, seeing the matador costumes and a collection of paintings were very interesting. We saw a collection of the Royal House of Orleons.Read more about the Plaza de Toros de Ronda
Although you can see Ronda in a day we spent far too long marvelling at the views from the bridge, so missed out several interesting parts.
Ronda now is yet another place on our wish list to return to in the future!