By the middle of the 13th century the Almohads had lost most of their former possessions in Iberia to Castile, all that remained in 1238 was the Kingdom of Granada, of which Ronda was now an important capital. The first Nasrid Sultans of Granada managed to halt the first reconquista of Ferdinand I by promising fealty to Castile, and historical evidence confirms that until 1480 an annual payment of gold was made to the treasury of Castile.
The Ronda style as it is known originated by accident in Ronda’s Philip II’s Centre for Horsemanship when a gentleman training on horse was unseated in the path of a bull they used to train officers in horsemanship.
A local man, Francisco Romero distracted the bull on foot using his hat, thus securing both the life of the aristocrat, and inventing a new form of bullfighting perfected by his grandson, Pedro Romero (1754-1839).
Ronda’s museums are a delightful way to spend a few hours for both holiday makers and residents alike. Children will love the Lara Museum, while adults may prefer the museum of wine, and art aficionados will positively love the collection of Joaquin Peinado.
Ronda Municipal Museum
Located in the historic Mondragon Palace (Palacio de Mondragon), the Municipal Museum of Ronda details our city’s history from the stone age to the present time with some very well made exhibits such as the Pileta Cave reconstruction, the stone age hut, iron age technology including sword making, the Roman period with an important exhibit on Acinipo, Moorish Ronda including a detailed exhibit of Arab funeral rites, and a very interesting display on life in Ronda’s heyday, the 17th and 18th centuries.
Originally built at the end of the 15th century and beginning of the 16th century the church was dedicated to Santa Cecilia who at the time of the reconquest was enjoying a great deal of popularity as the patron saint of musicians and churches.
The tower and entrance of Padre Jesús is gothic having been part of the original church, the remainder is renaissance period.
In 1542, a few short years after the reconquest, and at a time when the market districts of Ronda were forming, the citizens of Ronda requested a new bridge that would directly connect La Ciudad with the highest point across the gorge, an area that was long and flat, and ideal for the expansion of Ronda which was already becoming crowded.
The El Tajo gorge offers a wealth of bird species to watch, in fact many tourists book rooms in hotels overlooking the gorge specifically to setup their binoculars on hotel terraces away from the crowds.
The area between the Puente Nuevo and the Jardines del Cuenca is a deep almost enclosed part of the gorge that buzzes with life, from flying insects to spiders, lizards and geckos, and of course the many birds that nest in the gorge or hunt for food here.
One of the most popular dishes prepared around Spain, the pisto is basically a vegetable stew or ratatouille, and forms a popular base into which cured meats can be added, although one of the most famous versions of this recipe also adds egg (it looks like fried eggs sitting on top of the pisto).
A few kilometres from Ronda, just outside the white village of Benaojan lies one of the most spectacular cave systems in Spain, and in the mouth of one, several galleries of cave paintings that are as old as 30,000 years, and were created by paleolithic people of Ronda before the last great ice age. Best of all, the caves are open to the public with a local tour guide to explain the significance of the artwork.