A train journey, departing from Algeciras, Estación de San Roque or Los Barrios, through wonderful scenery makes a great start to your visit to Ronda. This is one of the oldest cities in Spain and has always been considered a paradise by those who have settled here. The evidence of their occupation has been carefully preserved within its walls.
You can visit the Cueva de la Pileta, a real treasure house of Andalucian rock painting. There are also numerous megalithic monuments including the Dolmen de Chopo.
FROM ITS ROMAN PAST.
There are many remains, outstanding among them being the Roman city of Acinipo which still has its theatre and amphitheatre.
FROM ITS ARAB PAST.
The Arab heritage can be seen on every street, as the then named Izn-Rand Onda, “Castle Town”, was one of the capitals of Muslim Spain, and left behind it monuments such as the Puente Viejo and the Arab Baths, where you can see an audio-visual presentation that will immerse you in the world of Muslim Ronda.
The Casa de Mondragón. According to legend, this was the residence of the great king Abbel Malik or Abomelic, the son of Abdul Hassan, the Sultan of Morocco. A few years after his death the kingdom of Ronda became a dependency of Granada so the last Muslim governor also lived in this palace.
The Casa del Gigante. This house was built between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and is similar to buildings in Granada and the Maghreb. It is considered a miniature palace and one of the best preserved examples of Nasrid architecture. It contains archaeological remains of great antiquity, such as the stone carvings that decorated the corners of the building, of which there is only one remaining. These carvings, of Phoenician origin, represented stone giants – hence the name given to this mansion.
The Ronda Wine Museum is housed within another palatial house, which once formed part of the Casa del Gigante. This winery, which has been producing wine for a thousand years, hosts visits, wine tastings and other wine-related events.
FROM THE TIME OF THE RECONQUEST.
The Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor was built on the site of the former mosque, on the orders of King Ferdinand the Catholic after he conquered the city.
MOST RECENT HISTORICAL BUILDINGS IN RONDA.
Despite its rich and ancient past, the two most distinctive and impressive buildings in Ronda date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, its most splendid era, and both were designed and built by Jose Martin de Aldehuela.
- The Bullring, a highly original arena in the neoclassical style, was commissioned by the Real Maestranza de Caballería in 1784. It is built entirely of stone (even the barriers) and this makes it unique in Spain. This is where the legendary Pedro Romero established the rules of bullfighting, and the “Ronda School” as opposed to the “Seville School”.
- The Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), which crosses the impressive “Tajo Gorge”, is almost 100 meters above the bottom of the gorge. Although it looks like a Roman aqueduct, it was designed by Jose Martin de Aldehuela in the eighteenth century. This makes a wonderful finale to an exciting visit to this impressive city located over a gorge and surrounded by a magical landscape of the Ronda sierra.