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Ronda: Sightseeing

Great writers, as Rainer Maria Rilke, Gustav Doré and Ernest Hemingway were inspired to write about this impressive town, many civilizations formed its history, and Ronda is conserving this legacy carefully.

Early History
Several prehistorical findings around Ronda document this region's early history. The most important are Cueva de la Pileta, a cave with splendid wall-paintings, and Dolmen de Chopo.
The Epoch of Romans
Close to Ronda there are remains of the Roman settlement Acinipo Photo, mentioned by Titus Plinius, among others. The amphitheater is particularly well conserved.
The Epoch of Moors Photo
Izn-Rand Onda, as Ronda was called by the Moors, was one of the major towns in Mussulman Spain. The Arabian bathes, the bridge Puente Viejo and two small palaces still remain of this epoch: Casa de Mondragón and Casa del Gigante (House of the Giant) a "miniature-palace" considered one of the best conserved examples of Nazari-architecture. This building has a very old history, for example the stone reliefs showing a giant is already of Phoenician origins.

In a nearby villa, fomerly a part of the Casa del Gigante there is the Wine Museum of Ronda. The exposition gives insights in the thousands of years old tradition of wine production and also offers wine tasting.

The Epoch of Reconquest
The most outrageous building of this time is the monastery Colegiata de Santa Maria la Mayor Photo, built at the place where before had been the Moorish mosque.
More Recent Epochs
Although Ronda has been very important in older historical periods, its most impressive monuments are of more recent date.

At the top of the list is of course Puente Nuevo Photo, the "new bridge", which is spanning over Tajo river in a height of almost 100 meters. It looks like an ancient Roman aqueductus, but was built in 18th century by architect José Martin de Aldehuela.

The other most interesting item is Ronda's Plaza de Toros Photo, a very original bullring made entirely of stone and built in 1784 in neoclassical style by the same architect. It is important as well in the history of bullfight: legendary bullfighter Pedro Romero founded here the "Escuela Rondeña", the Rondanian School of bullfighting, opposing the Sevillanian School which had been leading until then.

Still more impressive than its buildings is anyhow the spectacular location of this town.

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