We arrived in Ronda after nightfall and under cloudy skies. The town was quiet and uncrowded. After dropping our bags at the hotel, we walked the cobbled narrow street that leads to the 18th century Puente Nuevo (New Bridge). I'm terribly afraid of heights and was looking forward to my visit and looking at the bridge but from a distance. Well, after seeing the stunning bridge under the honeyed warm glow of the night light, I put aside my fears, took a deep breath, and walked the span of the bridge.
Daytime view of the bridge, built over a dramatic and precipitous gorge and river. I did walk the bridge a few times during the day but it did make me feel weak at the knees.
A view of the amazing bridge from the gorge. Our hotel is one of the white buildings on the right.
A pedestrian lane leading to the Plaza de Toros.
Built more than 200 years ago, the Plaza de Toros is one of the oldest and most important bullrings in the world. I love the shadow of the statue on the wall.
A poem about this famous Plaza de Toros by Spanish poet Fernando Villalón.
Bullring of Ronda, of the macho bullfighters,
claim of your balconies, one Carmen for each box;
One Romero for each bull, one knight on a horse
and two bandits asking for the key with their guns.
Bullring of Ronda, of the macho bullfighters.
Charming square dedicated to San Juan Bosco.
Down the street where our hotel was located, we saw plaques mounted on the walls with the Stations of the Cross. It seems that during Holy Week the faithful gather at the cathedral and do the Via Crucis around the town.
A shrine commemorating the 50th anniversary of the ordination into priesthood of a local priest.
A view of the old Arab bridge.
The 13th century Arab Baths. These were the principal baths in the city and are the best preserved examples of Arabic hammams in the peninsula.
The minaret of the original 13th century mosque which is now the site of the Church of Santa María la Mayor.
Puerta de Almocábar, the Islamic gate leading into the old city.
We stayed in the gorgeous Hotel Montelirio, an old palace with stunning views of the gorge. Our room was the rich and exotically decorated Marrakech room.
We had front row seats into the gorge but I couldn’t get myself close enough to the window.
I loved Ronda and felt sad leaving after only 24 hours, but I know I must return to this magical city. Kathy spent a couple of days exploring the historic center and walking all the way down to the gorge. Check her blog for some stunning photos.