RONDA MUST SEE
Ronda is one of the prettiest towns in Andalusia, and a “Must See” worth including on your trip to Spain.
Apart from the fabulous wine and countryside scenery, you shouldn’t miss the striking Moorish architecture, incredible views from the Puente Nuevo bridge and Tajo Gorge and, of course, the famous Ronda Bullring – the birthplace of modern bullfighting in Spain.
Ronda’s most iconic features are the Tajo Gorge, and the Puente Nuevo, an 18th-century bridge that rises from the floor of the Tajo some 120 metres below. Construction began in 1759 but was only completed in 1794 (and cost the lives of some 50 workers).
The Local Wine
Ronda also has historical vinicultural roots that date back thousands of years to the nearby now ruined, roman city of Acinipo, meaning the ‘city of wine’ – one of the few cities in the Roman Empire that made wine of such good quality that was exported back to Rome!
Most of the wineries in Ronda are situated in the scenic “Serrania de Ronda” countryside, and are mostly family-run boutique cellars. The vineyards are hidden gems for anyone looking for a holiday or a memorable weekend getaway with a difference.
And most importantly, since Ronda is very much still undiscovered as a wine region, there are no queues, hordes or large tour buses, although all wine tastings at any of the cellars would need to be pre-arranged.
Puente Nuevo Bridge.
The current bridge stands 98m from base to top and was built from 1759 to 1793, and spans 66m from side to side. The original design was drawn by Domingo Lois de Monteagudo, an architect of great renown in Spain, and a gruesome rumor persists to this day that civil war era prisoners were thrown to their deaths from the bridge, and written about by Ernest Hemingway in the novel ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’.
Plaza de Toros Bullring.
Inaugurated in 1785, Ronda’s Plaza de Toros is one of the oldest in Spain (although younger and smaller than the Sevilla Bullring). However it is the birthplace of ‘modern bullfighting’ where the bullfighter challenges the bull on foot and not on horseback. The legendary Ronda bullfighter, Pedro Romero (1754-1839) is said to have killed nearly 6,000 bulls.
Ronda Arab Baths.
Reached by rudimentary steps from the Puente Viejo, the Ronda Arab Baths are said to be one of the best surviving examples of original Arabic hammams, water baths, in Spain. Built in the 11th or 12th centuries, their functioning parts vanished centuries ago but the underground chambers have been partly-renovated, and occasionally even host classical music concerts.