Ronda - History of Ronda
Ronda is one of the oldest cities of Spain.Its origin, according to archaelogical findings in the old city space belongs to the Neolithic age. Despite of this, the presence of the human being in this land can be explained at a previous time. A proof of this are the sites found at caves, being the most important the one found at the Pileta's Cave, which is one of the best cave's paintings examples of all the Paleolithic age in Andalusia.
During the recent Prehistory a lot of human settlements are founded. This fact is proofed by the existance and conservation through the time of archaeological rests that can still be admired nowadays, being represented by some of its most relevant and monumental artistic examples, like the megalithic Necropolis: Dolmen of El Chopo and Encinas Borrachas among others.
It will be also at that time when the most important human settlements of the region will be well defined: Acinipo and Ronda, but its rise and important time will arrive later. The time of Acinipo will be at the Roman Empire Age and the Ronda time will be at the Middle Age.
From the Roman conquest time of the Iberian Peninsula still remain at our region a lot of rests, being important the ones found in the same city of Ronda. But, without any kind of doubts, the most important archaeological site of the region is the Roman city of Acinipo, because of its conservation's state and also because of some of its elements belonging to a Classic Roman city, like for example, the Theater.
Once that Acinipo dissapeared, and after the convulsive period which reason is the Fall of the Roman Empire, the attention was paid now to the city of Ronda. That city, although being a small settlement even during the first time of the Middle Age, became since then the main place where all the important historic events happened.
Among these historic events, and because of its importance and its cultural legacy, still alive at the common life (town planning, gastronomy,traditions, farming systems, etc.) has to be considered the Arab Age as the most important.
At that time, Ronda appears to be as one of the leading cities, arriving to the category of main city of one of the Kuras (Provinces) of Al-Andalus (the province of Ronda was named of Takurunna). Ronda even achieved to be independent as an independent Kingdom (called at that age the Taifas Kingdom) after the fall of the Cordoba Kingdom.
The most important character played by Ronda, and the reason for being well known, arrives with the Nazari Kingdom of Granada, because of its closeness to the territories conquered by the Catholics coming from Castilla. That leads to the city of Ronda, as well to its region, to be a very important border zone.
After the conquest of the city by the Catholic Monarchs(1485) deep economic and cultural changes happened, which can be still seen at the structure of the city: Opening of squares not existing before, streets made broader, etc.
The 18th century, and the arrival of the Modern age, will be for Ronda the time when it will get its definitive role inside the land of Andalusia.
At that time, the most relevant and known monuments of the city where built, as signs of the former aristocracy and the present Ronda: The New Bridge and the Bullring.
Since that time and during the 19th century, the romantic image of the city grows, as well as the legend of its Serrania (mountains), generating the world of the bandits and the art of bullfighting a deep impression between lots of important travellers.
Both aspects have been converted since then into symbols of our culture and tradition. Despite of this, the cultural and traditional richness of Ronda is much wider and diverse that the one offered by this image, cliched although being nice. This diversity is the current attraction of Ronda and its Serrania.