What to do and what to see in Ronda

Located in the northwest of the province of Málaga, the city of Ronda is on a rocky plateau cut by a natural accident, the Tajo de Ronda, a deep gorge of 100 meters which is traced by the Guadalevín River, dividing the city of Ronda in two, to the south, the old town and to the north, the modern city.

With more than 40,000 inhabitants, Ronda it is the capital of the Serranía de Ronda, a region made up of 27 municipalities. A land that has been associated with the romantic image of Andalusia, the legends of bandits and the heroic behavior of the guerrillas who harassed the French army at the beginning of the 19th century and which today offers, the multiple travelers who visit it, amazing views and magnificent samples of the culture of all times, with a lot of different itineraries.

History of Ronda

The first settlements in Ronda date back to the Neolithic, at the end of the 6th millennium BC. It had great relevance in the Roman stage with the founding of Arunda and the configuration of the neighbor, Acinipo or Ronda La Vieja as one of the most important cores of the area during the Roman Empire. But it is, with the arrival of the Arabs, when Ronda reaches its greatest splendor; both during the Caliphate period and later, during the Taifas Kingdoms, as the capital of one of them. The city of Ronda was one of the most outstanding squares in Andalusia.

After the reconquest by the Christian troops in 1485, the city of Ronda once again experienced a new flowering of the remodeling of monuments, extending into new neighborhoods such as the Mercadillo neighborhood and San Francisco neighborhood. The demographic crisis, after the Christian conquest and the Moorish uprising, meant a stagnation for the city and it was not until the end of the 17th century when Ronda began its recovery.

During the Independence War, Ronda distinguished himself in the fight against the French; the bushwhacker parties harassed the enemy troops from the nearby hills, giving rise to the most famous focus of brigandage in Spain in the 19th century.

From Ronda is Blas Infante, father of Andalusianism, and it was in Ronda in 1918 where the 1st Andalusian congress was held, in which regionalist sentiment was fostered and where symbols such as the white and green flag, the anthem and the coat of arms of Andalusia were created.

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What to see in Ronda

Ronda has a great cultural heritage. Here we outline the most interesting.

Greater Church of the Encarnación: Located in the Duquesa de Parcent Square of Ronda. Its construction began in the 15th century on a primitive mosque of which remains of the mihrab, carved with plasterwork of the late 13th century. Its interior is a mixture of Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque styles, in keeping with the reforms carried out until the end of the 18th century, divided into three auditoriums and several sections in horizontal direction, covered with domes, and the head, with sections that end in semicircular chapels. On the outside, the main front boasts a wide gallery. The tower, of Mudejar style, took advantage of the minaret of the primitive mosque.

Church of the Caridad: Located next to the previous one, it dates from the 16th century, it has a single auditorium and it has its origin in an old hermitage of Ronda. On the outside it has a simple cover with a semicircular arch.

Convent of Saint Isabel: Located next to the Church of the Caridad, dates from the 16th century and retains some Mudejar elements.

Convent of Saint Domingo: Founded by the Catholic Monarchs in Ronda in 1485. The cover is decorated by two shields. It was the seat of the Court of the Inquisition. It is located next to the New Bridge.

Church of Virgin of the Paz: Located in Beato José de Cádiz Square. Its origin is in a chapel of 16th century from Ronda. Although its current appearance, with an exuberant interior decoration typical of the Baroque, corresponds to a reform made in the 18th century.

Convent of Franciscan Mothers: Located in Alameda de San Francisco in Ronda. It was built in 1664 and reformed in 19th century. In 1936 it was totally destroyed and restored in 1945. It has a simple front with a semicircular arch. In the interior it is of a single ship, covered with vault of tube.

Convent of Saint Francisco: Located in San Francisco Street of Ronda. Gothic Mudejar style, its construction was carried out in the 16th century. The interior is divided into three naves, the head and arms which are covered with vaults. The side cover is a magnificent example of Elizabethan art; it is composed of an arch of many lines surrounded by plant decoration and elements related to the Franciscan order.

Church of the Holy Spirit: Located on Holy Spirit Street. Renaissance Gothic style, it was raised on the ruins of an Arab tower of Ronda, at the beginning of the 16th century, by order of the Catholic Monarchs. Its exterior appearance, sober and austere, gives it the appearance of strength. Its interior consists of a single nave, covered with a Gothic vault that rests on thick Renaissance columns. In the cruise area there are two chapels covered with Gothic vaults. The main altar, of Baroque style, is occupied by a painting that represents the coming of the Holy Spirit and an image of the virgin, of Byzantine style.

Mondragón Palace: Located in Mondragón Square in Ronda. It is a construction of the 14th century, reformed in the 15th and 16th centuries, and more recently in the 18th century, when an exterior body that forms the current facade was built. Its interior is distributed around three patios. The access is of Renaissance style and formed by means arcs point, with columns of Corinthian style. On the left is another, lintel, late Gothic style, with stone columns. The third, known as the Mudejar courtyard, is connected to the garden and has galleries of half-point brick arches supported on marble columns. This palace has the Municipal Museum of Ronda, with three sections, one of history that shows the world of the caves, the megalithic world, a monograph of de Acinipo, the Roman funerary world, the ancient Ronda and the Muslim funeral world. A section of ethnography that includes a sample of the heritage of different trades developed in the history of Ronda. A section dedicated to the natural spaces of the region.

House of the Giant: Located in Giant Square. It is an interesting sample of Arab civil architecture in Ronda. It is a house from the 14th and 15th centuries, which is named after two cyclopean figures that adorned its facade, of which one is preserved. Inside, there is a room with a wooden roof at the ends of which two alcoves are opened, which can be accessed through carved arches.

Town Hall: Located in Duquesa de Parcent Square. It was built in different stages, during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries and later remodeled. To the outside it presents a beautiful two-story gallery and inside it deserves to emphasize the coffered ceiling of the staircase, of Mudejar style, and the plenary hall, divided into three naves by large semicircular arches and ogival. On the staircase several sculptural pieces from the Roman era of Ronda are exhibited.

Palace of Marquis of Salvatierra: Organized around an interior courtyard with arches, it has its origins in a 15th century manor house of Ronda that was renovated in the 18th century, a period corresponding to its current appearance. The baroque facade stands out. In the upper part opens a balcony on which the second body is arranged, decorated with figures related to pre-Columbian art, which denote colonial influence. The visit includes a tour through several rooms decorated with furniture and artistic objects from different periods.

Arab Baths: Declared Historical Artistic Monument, they are the best preserved of the peninsula. Located in the old Jewish quarter of Ronda, near the confluence of the Guadalevin River with Las Culebras stream. They consist of three rooms covered by barrel vaults.

Bullring: It is the oldest in Spain. It dates from 1785. The cover is a semicircular arch between pilasters, decorated with the coat of arms of the Royal Corps of the Cavalry Maestranza of Ronda, to which it belongs. Classical corbels support a rondeña forge balcony decorated with bullfighting motifs. The tiers of the ring are formed by two galleries with reduced arches that rest on Tuscan stone columns. The royal box, located on the second floor, has fluted columns and abundant decoration. In September, the Goyesque bullfight is celebrated, coinciding with the fair, in honor of Pedro Romero, founder of the bullfighting school of Ronda, where the bullfighters are dressed in the old style. This bullring has the Ronda Bullfighting Museum. Exhibits costumes, bull heads, sculptures, posters, bullfighting souvenirs, engravings, prints, lithographs, documents, books, oil paintings, bullfighting dresses and a selection of Goya Bullfighting.

House of Don Juan Bosco: Located on Tenorio Street of Ronda. From its gardens you get spectacular panoramic views.

New Bridge: Located in the Spain Square, it is possibly the best known engineering work in Ronda, since it appears in all the typical photographs of the city, as a symbol of it. It is the one that gives access to the monumental center of Ronda, old Arab medina and the one that saves the spectacular gorge excavated by the Guadalevín River. It reaches 98 meters in height and in its lower part is formed by an arch on which another large one is available; Above it appears a balcony flanked by two smaller arches. From there you can contemplate a magnificent panoramic view of the Tajo de Ronda and the surrounding mountains.

The other two bridges that cross the Tajo de Ronda are, the Old Bridge and the Roman Bridge, both constructions from the Arab period of Ronda.

Alameda Park: Stand out its balcony over the Tajo de Ronda and a lot of vegetation.

Other architectural buildings of interest in Ronda are:

Minaret of Saint Sebastian, House of the King Moor, Arch of Felipe V, Church of Padre Jesus, Fountain of the Eight Canals, Temple of Virgin of the Dolores, Church of Saint Cecilia, Church of Socorro, Church of the Merced.

In the Mercadillo neighborhood you will find a good part of the modernist and eclectic artistic legacy of Ronda, highlighting the building of the Artists Circle or Casino of Ronda, where Blas Infante organized the first Andalusian assembly, located in Socorro Square, the kiosk and the lampposts of the Alameda del Tajo, the viewpoint of the Hall of Blas Infante, or the lamppost of the Carmen Abela Square, as well as numerous private homes.

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What to do in Ronda

For lovers of nature, Ronda provides a wide range of hiking trails in which to enjoy the different landscapes that characterizes the Serranía de Ronda.

SL-A 35 Ronda - Puente de la Ventilla: This route of 5.8 km, starts from Santa María de la Cañada Street in Ronda and follows a linear route until reaching Ventanilla Stream. It takes approximately one hour and twenty minutes to complete the tour and has a low difficulty.

SL-A 37 Ronda - La Planilla: The 2.5 km route starts and ends at the same point, in the San Francisco neighborhood of Ronda, since it is a circular route. It takes a time of approximately forty-five minutes and has a low difficulty.

SL-A 39 Ronda - Pilar de Cartajima: As in the previous case, this route is a circular route and begins and ends at the same previous point, in the San Francisco neighborhood of Ronda, specifically in the Convent of Saint Francisco. Its route is 6.1 km, it takes about forty-five minutes to complete it and its difficulty is low.

SL-A 41 Ronda - Peri-urban Park: This trail starts in Ronda and runs along the path of Setenil de las Bodegas between olive trees, almond trees and some oak trees. It is a circular route of 3.3 km so the Dehesa del Mercadillo marks the point where the return to Ronda begins. The difficulty of this route is low.

SL-A 36 Ronda - Hermitage of the Virgin of the Head: This 2.5 km linear route starts from the Saint Francisco neighborhood of Ronda to the Hermitage of the Virgin of the Head and lasts about thirty minutes with a low difficulty.

SL-A 38 Ronda - Los Molinos del Tajo: This path, which is also linear, starts at María Auxiliadora Square and ends at the Dehesa neighborhood of Ronda. Its route is about 4.6 km and, approximately, one hour and forty minutes long. It has a low difficulty.

SL-A 40 Ronda-Tajo del Abanico: Another linear route that starts in the Saint Francisco neighborhood of Ronda and ends at the Tajo del Abanico. It is of a low difficulty and how much 3.8 km away in its route.

PR-A 71 Ronda - Pilar de Coca: This circular route begins and ends next to the municipal sports center of Ronda with a total distance of 9.1 km. It can be done on foot or by bicycle and has a low difficulty.

PR-A 250 Ronda - Arriate: This linear path runs from Ronda to Arriate, traveling about 16 km and lasts approximately five hours. Its difficulty is medium-low.

Other interesting routes to do during your visit to Ronda are PR-A 251 Ronda - Montejaque, PR-A 221 Ronda - Cartajima, PR-A 253 Ronda - Benaoján and GR-243 Sierra de las Nieves. The latter crosses the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park from Ronda to Ojén passing through El Burgo, Yunquera, Tolox, Monda, Guaro and Istán.

Although for those eager for knowledge, Ronda has different museums of different themes.

Bandit Museum: Located in Armiñan Street of Ronda. Historical and popular museum divided into five rooms in which documents, photographs and life-size figures of bandits who inhabited the Serranía de Ronda are exhibited. Among the most famous is José María Hinojosa "El Tempranillo" who is dedicated to a monographic room.

Lara Museum: Located on Armiñan Street of Ronda, in the historic center next to the Tajo de Ronda. It exhibits more than 2000 works of art and antiques spread across different halls.

Peinado Museum: Located in the historic center of Ronda. Dedicated to the work of the painter Joaquin Peinado, born in Ronda in 1898 and considered the greatest exponent of the painters who formed the so-called Spanish School of Paris. There is a tour of more than 190 paints.

Wine Museum of Ronda: The permanent exhibition of the museum focuses on the history of wine in Ronda, for which various objects related to the production of wine in the region have been recovered.

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Traditional festivals in Ronda

Ronda has a calendar full of parties and celebrations.

Pedro Romero Fair: It is celebrated the first days of September in Ronda.

Cante Grande Festival: Celebrated in the month of August and the best “cantaores” and “bailaores” of the moment take part.

International Folkloric Gala: Dedicated to folk music from around the world.

Pilgrimage of Virgen de la Cabeza: It takes place on the first weekend of July in Ronda.

Holy Week of Ronda: Declared of National Tourist Interest of Andalusia. From the religious point of view, it is one of the most important events that takes place every year in the city of Ronda.

Corpus Christi: It is celebrated in june and in Ronda is called “Corpus Chiquito”.

Fair of May: Receives the name of Romantic Ronda and has like mission that the people know a historical time in which the bandits were common in Ronda.

In May two processions take place in Ronda, one is Virgen de la Paz and the other one is Virgen Maria Auxiliadora.

Pilgrimage in Puerto Sauco: Next to Acinipo, days set in the Roman era in which clothing, gastronomy and other traditions of the time are recreated in Ronda.

101 kilometers from Ronda: Competition organized by the Legion since 1995. Held on the second Saturday of May. This can be done both running and cycling and brings together many participants and their families, getting a hotel occupation in the whole region.

Ronda has its own municipal music band, "Aureliano del Real" Musical Association, which has great antiquity and roots in the city, of recognized prestige throughout Andalusia.

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Gastronomy and crafts from Ronda

In Ronda you can eat very well. Its gastronomy is based on traditional and simple dishes such as almond and artichoke soup, “olla serrana”, rondeñas crumbs seasoned with sausage from the land, potato stew, tomato and garlic soups, chickpea stew or of lentils, asparagus and mushrooms. Other specialties are the roast goat in the mountain style, the chorizos with alcohol and the veal with potatoes, but above all, the dishes derived from hunting such as the partridge and the rabbit in the rondeña stand out. Also traditional dishes are pumpkins to rondeña style, porridge, beans with tomato, garlic and ham, beans with black pudding, “gazpacho a la serrana”, “tortilla a la rondeña” and lamb stew. In confectionery they emphasize the yolks of the Tajo, the almond pestiños and the sweets of the nuns.

Highlights Ronda wines, of high quality, are produced under the designation of origin Sierras de Málaga and are labeled with the name of the sub-area Serranía de Ronda.

On the other hand, in Ronda, cork, leather, esparto, leather, forge, leather goods, wood furniture, marble carving and ceramics are produced by hand. The carpenters have managed to create their own style of wooden furniture, “Mueble Rondeño”. The craft tradition of wood dates back to the end of the 19th century when, as a result of the restoration of the House of the King Moor, the School of Arts and Crafts of Alfonso XIII was created, in which chestnut and walnut wood were worked, that is abundant in the region.

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