Intriguing Historical Ronda
Ronda has so much to offer to the visitors that a quick visit will be unsatisfactory. Although located in the dark angular mountain surroundings, it is full of history that one must take time to appreciate it all.
On the northeast side of the town plaza Duquesa stands the recently established Museo Lara, which houses the Juan Antonio collection, who also operates the town’s bus company: Antonio Lara. Senor Lara has been an avid collector of clocks, armaments, pistols, archeological finds, cameras, musical instruments and cinematographic equipment since childhood, which are now displayed in this museum.
The Alcázar ruins located at Ciudad’s end are the stark reminder of the French destruction in the year 1809, which Richard Ford termed as foolhardy destruction. It is currently used partly as a school. It used to be a formidable fortress during the Moorish reign until1485, which is when Granada fell 7 years later.
The town’s main gate is Puerto de Almocabar, which is among the Moorish structures that are resplendent, welcoming Christian conquerors such as Fernando and Puerta Carlos V in days gone by.
The Mercadillo quarter was established during the Christian conquest but has very few interesting sights; just a few old buildings that can be quickly looked at, such as the well preserved inn that was built in the 16th century which Miguel Cervantes stayed at once. This oldest inn building, Posada de las Ánimas, is located in Calle Cecilia at the old quarter. Another interesting sight that was built in the 18th century is the Toros Plaza, which is opened daily and is situated near to España Plaza. You can get on top of the paseo cliff-top to get a picturesque view of the bridges in the area, both new as well as the old.
Ronda was the original place for bullfights which accounts for its leading role in developing this spectacular event. The corrida, or bullfight ring, built in the year 1781, is believed to be Spain’s earliest bullfight ring. Bullfighting is also an important season in Spain, which happens every September. During that time, the corrida goyesca would honor Goya, one of Spain’s esteemed artists who painted many bullfighting scenes in Ronda, by parading in 18th century costumes.
There was a town prison which was used actively in Spain’s Civil war called Puente Nuevo, which was converted into a bridge’s bar, but now has been closed. During the war, Ronda was where some of the worst massacres happened. Even the famed writer, Ernest Hemingway wrote about the vicious deaths in his book ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls,’ where he penned down how the prisoners were literally thrown down into the gorge while still alive.