The city of Ronda is situated in the midst of the spectacular angular mountains, which loom around it in dark contrast, adding on the full drama of nature in its natural beauty.
Ronda is built on the edge of the mountains with El Tajo, a river gorge that is wide and alluring, splitting the city. El Tajo can be condescending with its 130 meters drop from 3 of its sides. Yet, looking resplendent and spectacular is the 18th century bridge, Puente Nuevo that is arched with tall white houses standing precariously from the sierra’s edge.
Most of Ronda’s attractions are from the mountains and valleys, where a stroll along Río Guadalévin using the donkey trails across the lush valley greens will unveil nature’s spectacular beauty at its best.
This is also a favorite haunt for avid bird watchers who might catch a look on the lesser kestrels, which may nest or fly from these cliffs. Crag martins can also be spotted if one is lucky for the day.
Ronda town is an attraction sight which offers much historical character and story as day trips become a favorite with locals and tourists from nearby Costa del Sol.
Ronda is divided into the northwest, central and southern sections; the northwest is usually where the newer section of Ronda lies known as the Mercadillo quarter. Crossing a bridge to the center is Ciudad, which is an ancient Moorish town. At the south is the suburb of San Francisco.
Ciudad, a Moorish set up, has retained many of its architecture in the existing houses with a few distinguished Renaissance buildings. The locations of these buildings are in such an amazing labyrinth that one can only wander about randomly and still be able to view the architecture.
Across the bridge will lead you to an 18th century building that is a Moorish mansion. Only the gardens are opened to the public at the moment which showcases an incredible underground stairway called the Mina. This 365-step stairway leads to the river and was cut and built by 14th century Christian slaves. The river is the town’s water supply source in times of war.
An incredible mansion from the Renaissance era, the Palacio del Marqués, presents a rather awkward and ancient image of Adam and Eve, which has been placed on top of its portal. There are other interesting architectural buildings and monuments of unique shapes and structures on the southeast of the river, as well as the Roman baths from the 13th century.
There is the magnificent cathedral Santa María, which was an Arabic mosque that held prayers on Fridays, but now has been converted to the town’s cathedral. It displays a fine blend of different cultures such as the Moors, Goths, and Renaissance, with a belfry on the minaret top.
There is visible Arabic calligraphy on the arches of the cathedral as well as an ancient Arab mihrab which is a Muslim prayer niche. Further west, one will see the Casa de Mondragón, which was a Moorish palace once upon a time. Its interior is magnificent, beholding original stuccowork on its patio with a stupendous carved ceiling. It also functions as a museum which showcases the history of Moorish Ronda and its local archeology.