The Ronda area is, without doubt, a cyclists delight and can be challenging at times! In fact the areas around Ronda and the sierra de Grazalema are well known and a popular training destination for proffessional cyclist wintercamps preparing for long distance road races and triathlons.
For those of us who are’t so competetive there a choice of route lengths from 30km to 100km some of them being relatively easy to complete for regular cyclist. (like myself :) ) Keep reading for more information about who you should contact to get the best out of cycling and mountain biking in the Ronda area. Continue reading Cycling from Ronda and around the Serrania
As far back as pre-Roman times Ronda has occupied an important role in this part of Southern Spain because of it’s high cliffs, deep gorge, and easily defensible position on a main trade route. Located on one of the main routes inland from southern coastal ports, Ronda and it’s older but now ruined sister city Acinipo, have together been occupied since at least 1,100BC.
Paleolithic and Neolithic people roamed the hills around Ronda leaving many fascinating reminders of their presence, including cave paintings at Cueva de la Pileta, dolmen burial sites near Montecorto, and in the Grazalema Natural Park, and numerous sites where archeologists have discovered stone age pottery and other relics.
Cueva de la Pileta is open to the public and your guide will show you all the important cave art in an easy walk through the cave that takes about two hours. It’s fascinating to think that the very land we live on in the 21st century was also inhabited in historical times ancient humans and maybe even Neanderthal tribes. Continue reading Pre-History in Ronda
It is hard to believe that Ronda was once a major centre in the Iberian provinces of the Roman Empire, however a quick look at the history books will find references to Acinipo and the terrible battles that occurred at Monda during a civil war between Julius Caesar and the sons of Pompey.
Acinipo the city was most likely founded by native Iberians several thousand years ago, and archeological evidence at the site shows a bronze age settlement existed here between 1100BC and 750BC, and a Carthiginian town may well have been established after this period, before the fall of Carthage in the Punic wars.
Continue reading Acinipo Ruined Roman City
The Construction of an Interpretation Centre at Acinipo has been delayed by the Ministry of Works of the Junta de Andalucia on the grounds that the proposed location sits on underveloped land zoned for comprehensive protection.
In the last year the Ronda Council and the Ministry of Culture have been working together to develop and excavate the ruined Roman city of Acinipo for the enjoyment of visitors and future generations. The most recent delay affects the construction of a museum and cafe/restaurant, shop, audio visual room, and education room for groups such as schools.
Under plans submitted to the Junta for approval the interpretation centre is to be built within the city boundaries, and would incorporate the foundations of a Roman villa under the museum so that this could be glassed over as a permanent exhibit. The delay is caused by concerns that the building’s construction would unnecessarily endanger archeological heritage.
The group Ecologists in Action have called for the interpretation centre to be constructed on farmland outside the Acinipo boundaries, and have welcomed the decision of the Junta to have Acinipo registered in the general catalog of historical heritage. Acinipo is widely considered to be amongst the best preserved Roman archeological sites in Spain, primarily due to it being covered over for hundreds of years.
Whilst most of the structures are these days only foundations, it is possible to map the streets and most buildings, and the partnership between Ronda’s archeologists working from the Palacio Mondragon and the Ministry of Culture have unearthed and are now preserving the Roman baths. The interpretation centre is seen as an essential part of promoting and protecting Acinipo’s heritage.
A man was yesterday arrested at 22:00 by the Guardia Civil SEPRONA division whilst attempting to vandalize the historic Acinipo ruined Roman city.
Readers of Ronda Today will recall our story about vandals digging several hundred holes and making off with buried precious artifacts from the site. Since we reported that story the Guardia Civil have mounted regular night time patrols.
The accused is a man from Sevilla province who was taken to Ronda and held under questioning pending a court arraignment today. He was caught red handed carrying a metal detector and had already extracted several Roman coins when the Guardia Civil decided to apprehend him.
Ronda Today has been at the forefront of this battle, and has connected a supplier of remote video cameras with the ministry responsible for historic sites. We hope the apprehension of this scoundrel puts an end to illegal excavations at Acinipo.
Acinipo is one of the most precious historical sites in the Serranía de Ronda, a fact not lost on thieves who have been using sophisticated metal detectors to discover coins and fragments of other metal objects.
Over 400 holes have been dug, described by the Friends of Acinipo Association as blatant vandalism and theft of public property. The thieves have cut numerous holes in the fence surrounding Acinipo of the last month and a half, causing thousands of Euros damage to the enclosures.
With shovels and hoes, the thieves are digging holes wherever they detect metal, with complete disregard for stone foundations they encounter. This type of brazen vandalism is impossible assess how much damage is being caused since Acinipo is a working archeological dig with much yet to be discovered about the city.
Manual Garcia, Provincial Delegate for Culture yesterday met with senior representatives of the various local police agencies to demand increased night time patrols of the area, and the apprehension of those responsible.
Aside from damage to the fences, it’s estimated several hundred coins and other relics would have been stolen, with a conservative value in the tens of thousands of Euros not including the value to Ronda of their cultural loss.
Acinipo is a ruined Roman city located at around 15 minutes north of Ronda, and from the 1st century BC to the end of the 5th century AD was one of Roman Iberia’s most important cities. By Imperial decree, Acinipo was entitled to mint it’s own coins, thousands of which are believed to still be buried under the ruins.