There are such amusing, admirably beautiful towns on the rocks or mountain slopes that you never stop admiring ... And to which you will certainly want to return. These are the Italian Positano, Amalfi, Manarola, Riomaggiore, Portovenere; French Rocamadour; the Catalan Castellfollit de la Roca; Mexican Acapulco; Greek Santorini ... And, of course, Andalusian Ronda.
Pueblos Blancos or White Villages
This is one of the so-called "Pueblos Blancos" - white towns or white villages in Andalusia. But unlike most of these towns, Rhonda has its own outstanding "chips":
- Bridge over the gorge
- Old bullring
- Rich story
An amazing thing: I remember all the corners of this city to the smallest detail even after several years. And yesterday's Krasnoyarsk (Izhevsk, Perm, Krasnodar, Chita, Nizhnevartovsk ...) I hardly remember.
Andalusian Ronda: history and its connection to the bullfight
In the 6th century BC, the Celtic settlement was called Arunda. The Greeks called it Runda. During the time of Caesar, Ronda became a city. In 711 the Moors came here. Historians claim that in 1485, King Ferdinand I the Catholic had a hard time driving the Moors out of the city. And then - the hill and the gorge in themselves are already fortifications.
At the word Ronda, most travelers immediately recall the bullring (Spanish: Plaza de toros) and New Bridge (Spanish: Puente Nuevo) across the Tajo Gorge (Spanish: Tajo), whose depth is 120 meters, over the Guadalevin River (Spanish .: Guadalevín).
It is noteworthy that both the arena and the bridge were designed by one architect - José Martín de Aldehuela (Spanish: José Martín de Aldehuela). The story goes that first, in 1740, a single-arch bridge by another architect was thrown across the gorge. This bridge collapsed, killing about 50 people. The current three-arch has been in existence since 1793.
The bridge in the rock
In my opinion, this bridge is not as simple as it seems. That is, it seems to be such a natural addition to the rocks and the gorge that you do not immediately realize: but this is a complex engineering creation!
Take a photo from the bridge - the views are amazing! But on the way to the bridge and the gorge, we will look at the bullring (Spanish: Plaza de Toros). At the entrance to the arena there are three monuments: a bull and two matadors. The bull's name is unknown. The names of the matadors are Cayetano and Antonio Ordonez (the first is the father, the second is his son). The Ordoñes are famous in Spain. Hemingway wrote about the younger in Dangerous Summer.
There is also a monument to the famous Pedro Romero in Ronda. The words are engraved on the monument: "Fear is worse than a bull." The matador who killed five and a half thousand bulls in his career, of course, knows better. Romero was probably not only a fearless man, but also a very skillful matador: for a quarter of a century of performances in the arena, he did not receive a single injury. The prototype of the protagonist of another Hemingway's novel "Fiesta" ("The Sun Also Rises") was ... Pedro Romero. By the way, Hemingway himself also has a monument in Ronda.
Not being a fan of bullfighting, I, nevertheless, walked around the entire arena and its "backstage" with interest. Plaza de toros opened on May 19, 1785. Once, during the time of King Philip II, it, as befits such structures in those years, had a purely practical purpose: the cavalry was trained there.
What else to see in Ronda?
After examining the arena and the Tavromachia Museum, we go further and arrive at the Alameda del Tajo Park (Spanish: Alameda del Tajo). The author of "Ulysses" James Joyce considered this park to be the most beautiful in Europe. Well, let's say we have seen more beautiful. But the park is really wonderful. Especially the views of the valley from the balcony (one of the photos shows this wonderful balcony).
There are several monuments in the park. We already know one - the matador Pedro Romero. The second is for a beautiful woman. It turns out that this monument is also associated with the bullfight. This is the Dama Goyesca of the sculptor Paco Parra. Lady Goyesca - participated in the performance before the start of the (special) bullfight - Goyesca. Such a bullfight was first held in 1954 in Ronda.
Blas Infante Perez de Vargas
On the way from the park to the wine museum (how could it be without him!) We stumble upon a monument to a peasant in a suit. Since it is this monument that is most often hushed up, let me remind you who it is. The inscription says that this is Blas Infante Pérez de Vargas (Spanish: Blas Infante Pérez de Vargas). It is also written that he is Padre de la patria. I mean, the ancestor. What? It turns out the Charter of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. And also - the anthem of Andalusia.
Actually, he worked as a journalist, was a writer and a politician. In 1920 he founded the newspaper Avante. Founder of the Junta of Liberalists of Andalusia. (Do not be afraid of the word "junta". In Spanish it is just "union", a political party). During Franco's time he was arrested and shot.
Travel guides recommend visiting the Mondragón Palace (Spanish: Palacio de Mondragón). I was not there. But I can assume that inside - the splendor of Moorish architecture, ceilings in the Arabian style, a garden with access to the courtyard and ... Alcazaba. (Whoever saw the Alhambra saw all the Moorish palaces at once).
Then we go to Salvation Square (Spanish: Plaza del Socorro). It is now she - Salvation. And relatively recently it was named after Kady ... Oh, of course, named after Franco.
Wine Museum in Andalusian Ronda
And here, finally, and the next goal of hiking in the wonderful Ronda - the wine museum (Spanish: Museo del Vino de Ronda). Sounds Loud - Museum. Actually - an old house with a patio. Barrels are visible under the arches, alas, empty. In the rooms there are expositions telling about the history of winemaking in the region. Of course, the ancient Phoenicians brought the vine to this region. Then the culture of winemaking developed with the help of the Greeks, Romans, Arabs ...
The expositions are informative, so everything can be understood without a guide. We will not see any outstanding exhibits here. But, returning to the patio, let's pay attention to one of the walls from which ... taps stick out. At the top there is an inscription - "Sources of Ronda wine". Most tourists walk past them. But in vain. The taps are made to open them. We open one - red wine flows. We open another - white. Beauty! And the wine is good quality.
Now you can continue the path
Look into the monastery of Santo Domingo (Spanish: Palacio de Congresos de Ronda - Convento de Santo Domingo); Church of Santa Maria la Mayor (Spanish: Iglesia del Santa Maria la Mayor); the robbers museum (Spanish: Museo del Bandolero); Salvatierra Palace (Spanish: Palacio Salvaterra) ... God grant that there will be enough time for all this and much more!
Convento de la Merced Ronda Malaga andalucia spain fenix today
But you still have to go shopping, have lunch (for example, at the Pedro Romero restaurant near Plaza de Toros), look into the souvenir shop ... By the way, about the shop. One of these is located next to the New Bridge (Spanish: Puente Nuevo). A kind of mixture of an antique shop with an art salon. I assure you - you will not leave without a purchase.
Article author: journalist Grigory Pasko for Fénix Today España