When foreigners think about Spain, Spanish people, and their culture, they are probably thinking about Andalusia and its symbols: lively people dancing flamenco, eating Spanish omelette and enjoying sunny days during almost the entire year. I am a huge fan of this southern region of Spain and its gems, and in this story, I want to tell you about a small town called Ronda, which is located next to the fantastic city of Malaga, full of beauty, sights, and history.
Ronda is located about 105 km west of the city of Málaga, and its population is about 35,000 inhabitants. Ronda is situated in a mountainous area about 750 m above sea level. The Guadalevín River runs through the city and divides it in two, carving out a steep canyon. This is quite a unique feature since it creates the 100-plus-meter-deep El Tajo canyon that is absolutely breathtaking. It has become one of the most visited villages in Andalusia and has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site, offering plenty of sights, culture, natural spaces, and gastronomy.
I highly recommend you start the trip by walking around the town with no rush, paying attention to the detailed features of the old Arab medina (since Ronda was once under strong Islamic domination). On the southern shore of the Guadalevín River, which still retains part of its walls, you can find the most popular sight of Ronda, El Puente Nuevo (the New Bridge). After being speechless by the magnificent bridge, stroll along the Alameda del Tagus, while stopping to enjoy the beautiful landscape that surrounds you. At the end of Alameda del Tagus, you can find the best-known viewpoint of Ronda - this viewpoint hangs from the wall, and the views from there are simply impressive.
Did you know that Ronda is walled? Ronda was in a critical strategic location at the time of the Muslim conquest of Spain. For this reason, Ronda is surrounded by impregnable walls. Today, when you walk around them, they remind you of the defensive part of the city. It is essential to look at one of the doors of the Muslim-style wall, such as the Puerta de Almocábar or the Puerta de la Cijara.
But let me give you some more details about the main symbol of Ronda, its Puente Nuevo. This spectacular construction that is more than 200 years old communicates the two parts into which the town is divided after the passage of the river. I do not doubt that its 100 meters high will leave you speechless! The building of this bridge started in 1751 and took until 1793 to complete. The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of 3 bridges you can find in Ronda, towering 120 m (390 ft) above the canyon floor, and all three serve as some of the city's most impressive features. The former town hall, which stands next to the Puente Nuevo, is the site of a Parador and offers fantastic views of the Tajo.
And here is a cultural fact for you! American artists, such as Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles, spent many summers in Ronda as part-time residents of Ronda's old-town quarter, called La Ciudad. Hemingway wrote about Ronda's beauty and famous bullfighting traditions, contributing to Ronda's popularity over time.
Do not miss out on a visit to one of the most beautiful towns of Malaga, to get a good understanding of a typical Andalusian village and enjoy its sights and its main symbol, the Puente Nuevo that will let you speechless!
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