March 21, 2018 by: Diana Beach
Five must-sees in Ronda, Andalucia
Best to come prepared as Ronda is a busy little town and you don´t want to miss the best bits. Hence this short list will help you get started and you can fill in the blank spaces in between.
First of all, the iconic Tajo which means gorge. And gorgeous it is. Several peoples have built bridges over it: there´s a Roman one, an Arab bridge, and the Puente Nuevo (the new bridge) that was opened in 1793. A previous attempt some years earlier collapsed and killed people but this one has stood the test of time.There is an Interpretation Center inside the Tajo which is worth visiting.
From the Tajo, walk into the new town a few steps and you come to the Plaza de Toros. Now whatever you think about bullfighting, the museum and the plaza itself are worth visiting. Ronda claims to have the oldest plaza de toros in Spain and certainly Pedro Romero was a seminal character in the history of this deeply-engrained cultural activity.
The next absolute must see in Ronda are the Arab Baths (Baños Arabes) which have been restored beautifully and with a superb animated presentation. Unlike the Romans who relied upon immersion in hot water for their purification, the Arabs used steam, similar to a sauna. While you are there check out the Puente Arabe and then visit the modern hammam where you can relive the experience of the ancients. Reservation is a good idea and we can help with that should you need it.
And now, feeling nice and relaxed, a gentle stroll up into the old town and the Palacio de Mondragon, a 14th century private palace that was built during the Moorish times for the son of the sultan of Morocco. The building is small but rich in detail. The gardens are a reminder of the Generalife in Granada at the Alhambra. The historical information is also of great interest.
The Casa del Rey Moro or, more accurately, the Arab Water Mine. The house is in a sad state as you can see above. I visited it in the 60´s when some friends were renting it. They said "Look what we have in our garden!" and led us to the Water Mine. No lighting in those day!! But now it is fully illuminated and goes down some 300 steps to the river below. It dates to the 14th century when the Arabs and Christians were battling for dominance over the town. Under siege conditions, slaves would transport water up in skins to keep the population going.
So. My top five things to see in Ronda, Andalucia. There are many many more. It is a rich and varied town thanks to its long fascinating history. As you go from one to the other of these five sites, you will encounter other treasures.
If you need any information just ask me. I am a fount of information - mostly useless of course! Book now for a fabulous visit to Ronda!
PS The photo at the top of the page has not been mentioned but, if you can find these two gates, you will discover inside one of the best gastrotapas places in Ronda, De Locos Tapas. Reservation is required.