Ronda

Three bridges, two historical sections of city, and one giant canyon make up this fantastic Spanish settlement.

Looking like something out of the mind of J.R.R. Tolkien, the city of Ronda, Spain is perched high atop the two cliff faces of the El Tajo canyon as though a fissure opened and swallowed the interior of the city.

The city of Ronda was first established in the time of Julius Caesar and has managed to survive through shifting geological conditions to this very day. The Guadalevín River which runs down the very center of the city grounds has spent millennia slowly eroding the land and creating the deep canyon that now separates divides the historic urban center. The walls of the canyon are sheer drops to the river over 100 meters below and the white, Spanish stone buildings are built to the very edge of the chasm.

Connecting the city are three bridges that span the expanse, the Roman Bridge, the Arab Bridge, and the New Bridge. Each bridge is named to describe the regime that built it, save for the “New” bridge which was actually finished in 1793. The bridges themselves are impressive feats of stonework with massive columns reaching down into the canyon and ornate roofs, giving the city the multicultural feel that its many ruling peoples brought with them.

In addition to the geological wonders the city brings, Ronda is also home to Spain’s oldest bullfighting ring, and is a proud supporter of the sport. In fact the fantastical city was well enough known for the pastime that it garnered such high profile residents as Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles who both spent time at the location.

Source: atlasobscura.com


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