When it comes to historic towns in Spain, there are few that have such convincing credentials as Ronda. Situated about 105 kilometres (65 miles) west of the city of Malaga, and with a settled history going back to the time of the early Celts, Ronda really is like a ‘living museum’ in Andalucia.
As you might expect, then, there are plentiful opportunities for rewarding activities and sightseeing in Ronda; below are just three of them.
Marvel at the ‘New Bridge’
Surely Ronda’s defining architectural feature – or at least the most iconic one to the outside world – the ‘Puente Nuevo’ is a mighty sight, spanning the 120-metre-deep chasm that carries the Guadalevin River and divides the city.
Construction of the majestic structure began in 1759, and took more than three decades until completion. Since then, the bridge has had quite some stories to tell; the chamber above the central arch, for instance, has been used as both a prison and a torture chamber over the years.
The chamber now serves the rather more sedate purpose of hosting a museum about the bridge’s colourful period of construction and subsequent history.
Visit one of Spain’s oldest bullrings
Or the Plaza de Toros de Ronda, to be exact. While this 66-metre-diameter bullring – with two layers of seating – may not be the very oldest Spanish bullring, it is one of the first to have been constructed entirely from stone, as opposed to a combination of stone and brick.
Ronda is also historically significant as the home of the Romero dynasty of matadors responsible for developing the rules of modern bullfighting during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Bullfighting is, of course, a divisive practice to 21st-century audiences, and the Plaza de Toros has ceased to host bullfights, save for during the annual Feria de Pedro Romana festival in September.
Experience excellently preserved Arab baths (although sadly, not bathe)
First things first – the Baños Árabes (‘Moorish Baths’) situated underneath the city are sadly no longer in use, so you don’t have the option of experiencing an original Arab bath.
Still, the architecture of these 13th to 14th-century thermal baths is remarkably well-preserved, so you can still marvel at such details as the barrel-vaulted ceiling incorporating beautiful star-shaped skylights. Back when they were still operating, these baths served the purpose of purifying visitors to the city.
Ronda may only have a population of about 30,000 or so people, but taking in the tourist sights here is most definitely not the work of a moment! So, it’s worth ensuring you don’t waste any time on your arrival in this part of Andalucia.
Contact Simply Shuttles now about our private transfer services that will enable you to devote maximum time to your sightseeing in Ronda and other fascinating and rewarding areas in this region of Spain.