Formerly isolated due to its geographic situation, Ronda is one of those cities which appears to be located somewhere between reality and legend. A place of bullfighters and outlaws and destination of those fascinated by them, Ronda is now a city where you can breath adventurous history, enjoy a broad repertoire of monuments or it's impressive natural surrounding. Its gastronomy, festivals and surroundings contribute to growing the legend of this location.
Situated in the most northwestern part of the province of Malaga , in Ronda is a city located on a ravine 120 metres deep which is considered as one of the oldest cities in Europe on account of its history. The small River Guadalev├şn traverse it, dividing the city in two. Its source caused the creation of the Tajo of a height of a hundred metres which nowadays is one of the marks of the city's identity.
On one side you find Ronda the new, broad and happy, with its historical bullfighting ring, on the other the more intimate, older Ronda of palaces and churches where we can admire the Square of Duquesa de Parcent, on which the colegiata de Santa Mar├şa de la Encarnaci├│n, stands out, a temple of complex architecture given that a gothic temple and the colossal Renaissance church are built on the remains of what was a Muslim mosque.
The styles and origins mix in this white and artesan town: minaret towers such as that of San Sebasti├ín; palaces such as Mondrag├│n and that of Salvatierra; Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic churches; the old and well preserved Arab baths; gates to ancient ramparts such as those of Felipe V.
All of this complements the beautiful sites such as bridges which are views into the abyss, fountains such as Ocho Ca├▒os, situated next to the Padre Jes├║s Church, and the Bullring, one of the oldest in Spain. All of this being an aesthetic pleasure for the casual hiker.
Surroundings of Ronda
In addition to historical strolls through its beautiful streets, the surroundings of Ronda, situated in what we could call "Humid Andalusia", offers the visitor all manner of alternatives: mountains turning abruptly into ravines in which it is possible to pothole, extensive forests of conifers in which you can see the famous Spanish Fir, grouped together in the Sierra de las Nieves natural park; Sierra Bermeja, unequalled refuge of the Pinsapar; Sierra Crestellina, a paradise of the Griffon Vulture and a great variety of birds of prey. These are without a doubt locations which will delight all nature lovers and active tourism.
Characters and Ronda
In addition to the legendary outlaws like "El Tempranillo" and "El Tragabuches", there are many people who have visited Ronda in its lengthy history. Ernest Hemingway, author of such novels as "Death in the Afternoon" and "The Old Man and the Sea", was a fan of bullfighting. It was this fondness for bullfigting which drove him to Ronda where he went to many bullfights of his favourite matador Cayetano Ord├│├▒ez.
Amongst this number is also Rainer Mar├şa Rilke , who called Ronda "the mad town". Rilke, who was attracted by the climate and the altitudewent to Ronda and during the course of this journey wrote "Collection of Spanish letters".