The city of Ronda is like a dream come true. It looks like a place from another time. It is a city that allows us to discover all the civilizations that passed by. Or a city that makes us learn about myths and legends from bandits travelling all over the mountain range.
Ronda’s dream starts in its Puente Nuevo Bridge, commonly known here as “El Tajo”. It is a breathtaking structure which makes the viewer dizzy both because of its height and its beauty. This bridge links the old part of Ronda with the new one. It is the perfect place to understand how interesting a day around this lovely city can be.
An essential cultural visit to Ronda
Dawn breaks and one of the best moments to enjoy the city begins: its breakfasts. Ronda offers numerous possibilities for this in both the old and the new city. In almost any cafeteria or bar you can enjoy good toast or molletes de Antequera with zurrapa de lomo (local bread buns with rustic pork pâté), tomato, good olive oil and ham, excellent fresh local cheeses and of course churros or tejeringos, as they are called here.
We especially like Café de Agata. It is a young business located in the new town where the coffee is delicious, as well as the toasts that you can combine with cold meats made in the region. Although the house specialty is the spectacular fruit and vegetable smoothies: pure energy to start the day.
The Bullring of the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda, is the perfect place to start our visit to the city. It was inaugurated in 1785, being one of the oldest in the country.
It’s a true piece of Ronda history that dazzled characters such as Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway, whose busts are located right next to the bullfighting ring.
- General admission: 8 €. With audio guide 9,50 €.
- Hours: 10:00 to 18:00 (in summer the visiting hours are extended).
It is worth a detour a few minutes to the right to reach the Paseo de los Ingleses with excellent viewpoints and the Alameda del Tajo, one of the parks most visited by the locals.
We go back the way we came to go to the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), going through the Parador de Ronda which has spectacular views of the Tajo and also to the whole valley below the city. We can return here after lunch to have a coffee.
At the Parador, the road turns sharply to the left, to come face to face with the monumental New Bridge, undoubtedly the symbol of Ronda.
This impressive work of engineering is the result of the second attempt to save the Guadalevín River Gorge and connect both parts of the city (the first attempt ended with the collapse of the bridge a few years after its construction). Almost 100 m high, it is built in stone imitating the Roman technique with shored semicircular arches. The current bridge was inaugurated in 1793, after 42 years of construction.
From there, it is worth getting lost in the alleys of the old town. Narrow streets of whitewashed houses through which you can visit the City Museum, the Minaret of San Sebastian or reach the Duquesa de Parcent square.
This is a particularly interesting place: there is the beautiful building of the Ronda Town Hall, but also the Santa Maria La Mayor Parish, a magnificent temple built over 200 years, where different historical architectural styles are mixed in its construction: Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque. In addition, this church still preserves parts of the Mosque on which it was built.
A short walk from there, down Armiñán street, we arrive at the Espíritu Santo Church and the Almocábar Gate and Aall, whre you can see how difficult it was for the Christian troops to conquer the city at the end of the 15th century. Crossing the gate we have the Plaza Ruedo Alameda, which in summer and anytime the weather is good, it is full of local people having a drink on the terraces of the many restaurants and bars there.