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Spain Inland Locations-Guide

Information about Ronda

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(34.385 inhabitants) Màlaga province

History

The proximity of Acinipo, old roman city, known as Ronda la Vieja, made think the historians that in it there was the origin of the current city. However, the precedent of Ronda is in the settlement by the Celts of a surveillance post towards V century a.C. in the platform where the city is now situated.
The Celts called this place Arunda and with this name lived and developed during the roman time. The Arabs, who took possession of it in August 711, called it  Izn-Rand Onda, what means “ciudad de los castillos” ( city of the castles), where it names comes from. Along the Arab domination it passed through periods of fight, it belongs to the Cordoba caliphate, it created twice a taifa kingdom and fell under the power of the nazarì kingdom of Granada. Fernando el Catòlico conquered it for the Christians the 24th may 1485.
From this date, the city gets in a long developing process which extends along the XVI and XVII centuries. On the other hand, XIX century is of decay, first the French invasion, later appears the bandits which infests the mountainous area and negatively affects the commerce.
During the civil war in 1936, Ronda sees how disappears a good part of its large artistic treasure concentrated in is temples. In our days, agriculture, commerce and tourism are creating a new time of development.

Gastronomy

Native products that the city adds to the andalucian gastronomy are those from the pork, the honey, the goat cheese and the brandy, all of them products of Ronda, to them we add the sweets made mainly in the convents. It is to mention the migas rondeñas, made with bread, and the guiso de patas, made with the pork hands. The pestiños de almendra, of Muslim tradition, is its best known dessert.

Craftsmanship

There are still in the city some artisans works like the harness making and the saddlery, stained-glassed making, ceramic and rustic furniture.

Festivities

At the end of January are celebrated the patron festivities the Virgen de la Paz, the Semana Santa is very interesting, there are 3 ferias: from the 20th to the 24th of may, dedicated to the cattle market; in September, called of Pedro Romero, the most important, between 31st august and 1oth September, and the one of San Francisco, between the 2nd and the 4th October.

VISIT

The famous Tajo (cleft) divides the city in 2 symmetric parts. To one side, to the south, the primitive and Muslim Ronda, to the other, the Ronda which was growing from the Christian conquer. It is in the first and in the areas closer to it of the second where it concentrates the important monumental ensemble that the city possesses. A good starting point for a visit can be the square of España, which gets to the Tajo from the Puente Nuevo, a classic symbol and emblem of the city. This bridge crosses a narrow throat of more than 180 mtrs deep, and at the bottom flows the river Guadalevìn and it is a superb engineering work finished in 1793. From here we get beautiful views of the city, the hanging houses and the mountainous area. At the other side of the bridge, in the square Teniente Arce, we find the plaza de toros (bull ring). It was built in 1785, is all made in stone with archways and columns with a splendid baroque doorway. Here it is open the Museo Taurino. Crossing the bridge, to the left, the street Santo Domingo takes us to the Casa del Rey Moro, from there, via a very long staircase carved in the rock we get down to the Mina, building of military type built by the king Abomelic. To the right, the street Tenorio takes to the one of Beato Diego Josè de Càdiz, there is the iglesia de la Virgen de la Paz, who is the patron saint of the city. It was started in XVI century and it has been adding elements of different styles, mainly the baroque and the initial renaissance. At the end of the street, to the right, in the square of the same name, it is located the casa del gigante, Muslim house of XIV century. All the streets of this area have an enormous flavour and hide corners of great picturesque, as the one called  callejòn de los Tramposos, behind it the iglesia de Santa Marìa de la Encarnaciòn, one of the most outstanding buildings of the city. It was raised in 1485 on top of the remains of several temples: Romans, Visigoths and Muslim. In the interior appear 2 different areas, one gothic and other renaissance style. Here it is very interesting the baroque retablo (altarpiece) of the Sagrario.
On one side of the church, the palacio de Mondragòn, residence of the king Abomelic, who ordered the construction in XIV century, on the other side, crossing the square of the duquesa de Parcent, where it raises the interesting building of the Ayuntamiento(town hall), and coming down we reach the puerta Almocàbar, which was one day, in the XIII century the main access to the city.
In the street Armiñàn, it is located the museo del Bandolero, opened in 1995 thanks to private enterprise, in an old house of the XIX century. A tavern of the time welcomes the visitor, following, in the different rooms, there is a vast collection of curiosities, from the origins of the bandolerismo ( bandits), the contraband routed or the romantic travellers who travel through the mountains of Ronda, to the baptism papers, burial certificates, rewards, reproduction of the caves in which they lived, costumes, arms, etc.
Going back to the Tajo by Espìritu Santo, in a beautiful corner, the palacio del Marquès de Salvatierra, large renaissance building built in XVI century.
By the palace it is the arco de Felipe V, raised in 1742, by which it is the Sillòn del Moro, the arc gives way to the Puente Viejo built over the Tajo in the XVII century using the remains of other Arab.
Passed the bridge the fuente de los Ocho Caños, built in XVI century in renaissance style, followed by the iglesia de Nuestro Padre Jesùs,  with its gothic façade and its renaissance belfry and, finally the convento Madre de Dios, founded in the XVI century, with a beautiful renaissance patio and a baroque church.