Ronda is a great city to visit while travelling around Andalusia and the province of Málaga. It is located about 100 kilometres towards the west of the city of Málaga. It is not a large city (its population is about 35,000 inhabitants) but its charmy streets and views fascinate any visitor that goes there.
The Islamic domination is felt in Ronda because of the history, because, as we know, Andalusia is the region that received the greatest Arabic influence throughout the years. The Islamic domination ended up in Ronda in 1485. Then, the majority of the old buildings were renewed or adapted to Christian norms.
In 1492 the Spanish decreed that all Muslims must either leave the peninsula or convert to Christianity. Many Muslims pretended to having converted although they kept on practising their religion. Those Muslims were called Moriscos and they were suppressed by Spaniards. Moriscos started to look for a shelter in mountainous areas and Ronda was a great refuge for them.
What caused the greatest suffering in Ronda was the Napaleonic invasion and, of course the Peninsular War, whee inhabitants were reduced from 15,600 to 5,000 during the period of three years. Also, Ronda and its surrounding area turned into the base of guerrilla warriors, whose deeds were a great inspiration for such great figures as Washington Irving, Prosper Mérimée and Gustave Doré. In the 19th century, though, the agricultural activities started to flourish and became the main part of its economy.
The city now is one of the main touristic attractions while in Andalusia. Its Andalusian and Arabic style mix in the streets and amazing breathtaking views to the mountains are one of the best things a visitor can find in this southern region.
There are three bridges in Ronda, that one has to see – Puente Romano (Roman Bridge), Puente Viejo (Old Bridge) and Puente Nuevo (“New Bridge”). The Puente Nuevo is the most famous as it is the tallest of the bridges (120 metres) and situated above the canyon floor, the city’s most impressive features.
In addition to all that, the Plaza de Torros in Ronda is an essential thing to see as it the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain, built in 1784 by José Martin de Aldehuela (an architect who also designed the Puente Nuevo).
Thus, as you might have understood, Ronda is a must to visit when one has a chance to do it. Its amazing views, fascinating old town streets, bullfighting ring and tasty wine will amaze you for sure! The students of Academia CILE have the opportunity to have a guided visit to Ronda on weekends….are you about to miss it?
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