Ronda "Nuevo" Bridge [built in 1793]

Ronda is a city in the Spanish province of Málaga, in the Andalucian region of southern Spain. It is located about 100 km from the city of Málaga but takes about 2 hours by car because of the mountaneous road from the coast to the town. Its population is 35,512. It is also accessible by rail from Algeciras and from Cordoba.

 

Ronda is situated in a very mountainous area about 750 m above mean sea level. The Rio Guadalevín runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep El Tajo canyon upon which the city is perched. Ronda was first settled by the early Celts, but its Roman and then Moorish rulers are reflected most prominently in its architecture. The forces of Catholic Spain took control of the town in 1485.

 

Three bridges, Puente Romano ("Roman Bridge", also known as the Puente San Miguel), Puente Viejo ("Old Bridge", also known as the Puente Arabe or "Arab Bridge") and Puente Nuevo ("New Bridge"), span the canyon. The term "nuevo" is a bit of a misnomer, since this bridge was completed in 1793. The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, towering 120 meters above the canyon floor, and all three serve as some of the city's most impressive features. Another important site in Ronda is the Plaza de Toros, the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain that is still used, albeit infrequently. It was built in 1784 in the Neoclassical style by the architect José Martin de Aldehuela, who also designed Puente Nuevo. The partially intact baños árabes ("arab") are found below the city and date back to the 13th and 14th centuries. Both Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles resided in Ronda for many years, and both wrote about its beauty, contributing to its popularity. Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls describes the murder of loyalists early in the Spanish Civil War by being thrown from the cliffs of El Tajo by Franco's forces.

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Uploaded on May 1, 2008