Ronda

Is one of those cities that seem to lie halfway between reality and legend. Isolated in years gone by due to its geographical reality, a city of bullfighters and bandits, destination of personalities, whom, like Rilke, were captivated by her, Ronda is today the active head of an important administrative district of Malaga in which it is possible to enjoy of a wide repertoire of monuments.

The little Guadalevin runs through it dividing it in two. Its riverbed, in a silent and age- old task, has been perforating the one hundred metre, deep Tajo that today is one of the distinguishing marks of the city. On one side is the new Ronda, wide and bright, with its historic bullring (bullfighting museum included); on the other side, the older and more intimate Ronda, of quiet palaces and churches and where we can admire “La Plaza de la Duquesa de Parcent”, which is overlooked by the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria de la Encarnación, a temple of complex architecture, since on the remains of what once was an Arabic mosque, rises the Gothic temple and the colossal, Renaissance church. On this square, other outstanding buildings are not missing; like the one that houses the Town Hall, with a simple but beautiful and extremely long balcony on its top floor. The styles and origins are mixed in this white and artesan city: minaret towers like the one of San Sebastián; palaces like “El Mondragón”, “La Casa del Rey Moro” and “El Salvatierra”; Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic churches; the well- conserved, ancient Arabic baths; the gates of the old walls like the Arabic one of Almocabar, situated next the Renaissance ones of Carlos V. All this complemented by beautiful parks, bridges that overlook the abyss, fountains like the one of “Los Ocho Canos”, adjacent to the Church of El Padre Jesús or by gates like the ones of Felipe V.

Everything is an aesthetic enjoyment to the passer- by. But apart from the historic walk through its beautiful streets, the surroundings of Ronda, situated in what we could call “Humid Andalucia”, offers the visitor endless alternatives: rugged mountainous country, with peaks, caves and deep cliffs in which to practise potholing (the deep fissure of Gesm, for example, is considered the third deepest in the world, with its more than 1.100 metres in depth); extensive forests of conifers, in which we find that fir tree so outstanding and endemic that is the Spanish Fir tree, grouped within the Natural Park of “La Sierra de las Nieves”; “Sierra Bermeja”, just as much a refuge for the Pine trees; “Sierra Crestellina”, paradise for the Griffon vulture and a great variety of birds of prey. Places, needless to say, which will delight enthusiasts of nature and or rural tourism. Ronda celebrates in September the festivities of “Pedro Romero”, with the colourful, goyesque bullfight and the flamenco festival. But whichever festivity means an event of some importance in this city: the majestic Holy Week, the feasts of la Reconquista or “la Romería de Ntra. Sra. De la Cabeza”, on the second Sunday in June.