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
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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.
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Continue reading Pileta Paleolithic Cave Paintings at Benaojan
The Plaza de Toros (bullring) in Ronda occupies a very special place in modern Spanish culture and history as the home of the Rondeño style of bullfighting and also of the Real Maestranza De Caballería De Ronda. The bullring was built entirely of stone in the 18th century, during the golden years of Pedro Romero’s reign as champion bullfighter. Continue reading Plaza de Toros (Bullring)
The House of the Giant, otherwise known as the Casa del Gigante in Ronda’s old city is one of the most complete examples of Nasrid architecture outside of Granada and definitely a destination that should be on your list of places to see in Ronda.
Located in a quiet plaza behind the Santa Maria La Mayor church, and directly across from the Museo Peinado, the Casa del Gigante is just 2 minutes walk from the Puente Nuevo and Plaza d’España, and not too far from the Mondragon Palace. A statue of Vincent Espinel is located directly in front of the entrance to the House of the Giant. The palace was already more than 100 years old at the time of the fall of Ronda to Ferdinand’s army in 1485 and apart from some redecorating in the 17th century is still largely complete as a Moorish building. Continue reading Casa del Gigante