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Ronda

Ronda is situated in a mountainous area approximately 750 ft above sea level with a population of around 36,000 people. The Guadalevín River divides the City into two and carves out the steep, 100 meter deep canyon of El Tajo upon which the town  perches.

NEOLITHIC MAN TO THE MOORS

Remains in the City date back to the Neolithic age and include the famous rock painting of Cueva de la Pileta.  It was however, the Celts who first settled the town in the 6th century BC and many followed thereafter including the Phoenicians and Romans.  It was Julius Caesar who gave Ronda the title of City.  After the Romans came the Visigoths and it remained part of their empire until 713 when it fell to the Moors who made it the capital of the Takurunna province.

After the caliphate of Cordoba desintegrated, Ronda became the capital of a small kingdom named , the Taifa of Ronda and during this period most of the notable islamic architecture appeared.  The islamic domination of Ronda ended in 1485 and subsequently, most of the city's old edifices were renewed or adapted to Christian roles, while numerous others were built in newly-created quarters such as the Mercadillo and the San Francisco areas.

DEATH AND DESTRUCTION DURING THE PENNINSULAR WAR

In the early 19th century, during the Peninsular War there was much suffering in Ronda and the population reduced from 15,600 to 5,000 in three years. This sudden decline changed the town of Ronda forever.  The population gradually came back to the are but not to the Ronda of the Roman and Medieval times.

THE FAMOUS BRIDGES AND BULLRING

Three bridges span the canyon at Ronda.  The Puente Romano, The Puente Viejo or Arab Bridge and the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge).  The latter is the tallest at 120 metres above the canyon floor and it is not really new as the building work commenced in 1751.

Also popular in Ronda is the Plaza de Toros (the bullring) dating to 1784.   It is the oldest in Spain and is still used. 
The partially intact Baños Arabes ("Arab baths") were found below the city and date back to the 13th and 14th centuries.
Tourism is a big earner for Ronda and up until now the City has been treated as a day trip from the Costa del Sol.  However, the local tourist authorities are working hard to throw off this offensive tag.

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