Creative Arts Learning Vacations in Southern Spain


Ronda Bridge

Ronda is a vibrant town in the mountains just over an hour from El Molino and surrounded by 3 natural parks, and on the edge of the fames Grazalema Natural Park. One of the last holdouts of the Moorish culture in Spain its architecture and layout provide fascinating traces of its rich history.

The most significant feature of Ronda is a precipitous 'El Tajo' gorge that divides the old and new town. The gorge is spanned by an arched bridge, a design and engineering marvel. There is also an old Roman bridge crossing the gorge which may be seen from the parapet. For the energetic you can take a path down the 330 foot gorge and see the old Roman waterworks and Arab baths.

Ronda provides a rich variety of shopping streets and plazas, together with wonderful ice cream parlours and pastries too.

The town has an important place in the history of Spanish bull-fighting and has one of the oldest and most monumental bull rings in all of Spain. Outside the town are prehistoric cave paintings and several wonderful National Parks.

Ronda is rich in subject matter for painters and tourists alike, from the vistas along the top of the gorge, delightful shopping areas in the town, many beautiful churches and buildings to the numerous artisan outlets in the older town. The decorative wrought ironwork on windows and balconies is worth seeing, perhaps when you are being driven around the town by horse and carriage.

During the Spanish War of Independence 1808-1814, sometimes called the Peninsula War, after Napoleon's army invaded the country, Ronda was one of the most distinguished cities against the war with the French. It took two years to reduce it and after that, various organised parties continued to harass the invader from the nearby sierras. This guerrilla resistance gave way to one of the most famous and legendary bandit focuses in Spain in the 19th century and they were greatly romanticized in the style of Robin Hood. There is even a Bandit Museum in the town.

Horse Drawn Carriage in Ronda