Ronda is a small town, population around 30,000, situated in the mountains behind Malaga. In the days when it was a Moorish settlement, its position, perched high on a rocky outcrop, gave it some protection against invaders and it was one of the last Moorish cities to be retaken by Spanish troops during the reconquest of Spain. Ronda retains much of the old Moorish architecture although some of the streets and sites can be difficult to negotiate because of the steep slopes that abound.
The city has three well preserved bridges which date from different periods. These are the Puente Romano, the Puente Viejo, also known as the Puente Arabe and the Puente Nuevo. All three bridges are impressive; the Puente Nuevo perhaps more so than the others as it stands some 120 metres above the canyon, El Tajo.
Ronda can also lay claim to having the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain which is still in use. It dates from 1784 and was designed by the same architect who designed the Puente Nuevo. In September an unusual bullfight festival takes place, the "corrida goyesca", in which the matadors dress in costumes as shown in Goya's 18th century engravings.
It may well have been the bullfighting tradition that attracted two famous Americans to Ronda. These were Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway. They were both residents for a while and wrote about the traditions of bullfighting in Ronda
Yet another well preserved feature of Ronda is the Banos Arabes or Arab Baths. These structures were constructed in the 11th century and were still being used in the 17th century. One of the chambers in the baths houses an audiovisual display which explains how the water for the baths was distributed through the building in the absence of modern plumbing.