The Arab Baths, known in Spanish as the Baños Arabes are one of Ronda’s most important tourist attractions, and some argue more important than the unquestionably beautiful Puente Nuevo, or Ronda’s other claim to fame, the Plaza de Toros, home of Ronda’s bullfighting tradition.
Ronda’s Arab Baths are similar to the design perfected by the Romans, except that steam was used to sweat out pollutants from the body rather than soaking in hot water as the Romans used. The Moors of Spain were also Muslim, so religious traditions were important, a Mosque was located next to the baths, and the baths were more than just a sanitary facility; they were also a place where locals and visitors alike would stop to purify and cleanse their bodies before entering the Mosque to purify their souls.
Continue reading Ronda’s Arab Baths
Visitors to Ronda are often confused about why our central plaza features a statue of a semi-naked man with two lions by his side and a couple of pillars behind him. What is their significance, and why do so many people take photos of the fountain?
The answer lies in Andalusian nationalism and one of the most important events in recent Andalusian political history, the Assembly of Ronda in 1918 when the father of Andalusian nationalism, Blas Infante, unfurled the flag and symbols of Andalusia whilst standing on the first floor balcony of the ‘Circulo de Artistas’; the building directly behind the fountain with red CA lettering above the windows. Continue reading Andalusia, Plaza del Socorro and Blas Infante
Probably every visitor to Ronda passes under this arch on their way from La Ciudad into Padre Jesus or the other way. Back in the 18th century until the completion of the Puente Nuevo, the arch was the main entrance into La Ciudad, and was hurriedly built after the collapse of the old Arab gate in 1742. Continue reading Felipe V Arch (Arco de Felipe V)
The eight spout fountain in front of the Church of our Father Jesus was built during the 1700s under the reign of Carlos III. Back in those days the Padre Jesus district of Ronda was its commercial centre. Many of the buildings around the church and fountain were home to bars and inns, and the fountain was considered an essential addition. Continue reading Eight Spout Fountain (Los Ocho Caños)
Part of the reason Ronda is so important in the history of Andalucia directly relates to how secure the city was from attack, a position that allowed Ronda to develop and be independent, or at least nominally so, and the city walls in combination with the gorge and rio Guadalevin made Ronda impervious from attack until the age of cannon.
Whilst wooden palisades existed to protect neolithic communities and their successors before the constructions of the Roman castle, the reality is that most of the stone walls around Ronda directly owe their construction to the Islamic era, a period that spanned close to 800 years from 712 until 1485. Continue reading Ronda’s Arab Walls and City Gates