Ronda sits atop it’s rocky eyrie overlooking the Serrania de Ronda and Sierra de las Nieves. Bathed in the warm, golden hues of the setting sun, or the cool blueish hues of the rising sun; either way in stark contrast to the soft, verdant greens of the Rhondda Valleys of South Wales.
The city today is divided by the ‘Tajo de Ronda’, or just ‘El Tajo’ (the gorge); the ‘modern’ C15th town sitting on one side and the Moorish ‘Old’ town sitting on the other connected by the C18th. Puente Nuevo that spans the gorge that’s over 120m deep.
The ‘Old Town’, La Ciudad, has its origins in a Celt-Iberian settlement of the C6th. BC known as Arunda. The Phoenicians followed, then the Greeks who renamed it, Runda, who in their turn were superseded by the Romans under whom it acquired city status during Julius Caesar’s reign. The Suevi and then the Visigoths each took their turn until the Moors arrived in the early C8th. AD and ruled for nearly 800 years until 1485. The typical settlement pattern for southern ‘Hispania’.
The modern city has a population of some 36,000 and is a popular tourist destination, both domestically and internationally. Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles both found inspiration here and spent many summers in Ronda.
Ronda boasts one of the oldest (1784) and most monumental (Neoclassical) bull rings (Plaza de Toros) in the world. Hemingway and Welles were both aficionados.
As in any town, or city, some streets appear more affluent than others, as too with their houses, and Ronda offers a delightful mix with many streets having their own distinct character.
Ronda has much to offer and venturing into the smaller side streets, away from the popular tourist spots, will reward the inquisitive traveller.