Ronda

Ronda is a city in Spanish province of Málaga. It is located about 100 kilometres (62 mi) Northwest from the city of Málaga, within the autonomous community of Andalusia. Around the city are remains of prehistoric settlements dating to the Neolithic Age, including the rock paintings of Cueva de la Pileta. Ronda was however first settled by the early Celts, who, in the 6th century BC, called it Arunda. Later Phoeniciansettlers established themselves nearby to found Acinipo, known locally as Ronda la Vieja, Arunda or Old Ronda. The current Ronda is however of Roman origins, having been founded as a fortified post in the Second Punic War, by Scipio Africanus. Ronda received the title of city at the time of Julius Caesar.

Ronda is situated in a very mountainous area about 750 m above mean sea level. The Guadalevín River runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep, 100 plus meters deep El Tajo canyon upon which the city perches. The Spanish Fir (Abies pinsapo) is endemic to the mountains surrounding Ronda.

Three bridges, Puente Romano (“Roman Bridge”, also known as the Puente San Miguel), Puente Viejo (“Old Bridge”, also known as the Puente Árabe or “Arab Bridge”) and Puente Nuevo (“New Bridge”), span the canyon. The term “nuevo” is a bit of a misnomer, as the building of this bridge commenced in 1751 and took until 1793 to complete. The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, towering 120 metres (390 ft) above the canyon floor, and all three serve as some of the city’s most impressive features. The ‘Corrida Goyesca’ is a unique and historical bullfight that takes place once a year in Ronda in the Plaza de toros de Ronda, the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain. It was built in 1784 in the Neoclassical style by the architect José Martin de Aldehuela, who also designed the Puente Nuevo. The partially intact Baños árabes (“Arab baths”) are found below the city and date back to the 13th and 14th centuries. The former town hall, which sits next to the Puente Nuevo, is the site of a parador, and has a view of the Tajo canyon.

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