Aerial view of El Tajo gorge and the Puente Nuevo bridge in Ronda, Málaga, Spain
© Jude Newkirk/Amazing Aerial Agenc
A gorge-ous town divided. Ronda, Spain
Today we're visiting the mountaintop town of Ronda in the Málaga province of Andalusia, in the south of Spain. First settled by the Celts and later inhabited by the Romans and Moors, this dramatic cliffside setting is split in two by the El Tajo gorge, a rocky drop plummeting nearly 400 feet to the Guadalevín River. There are three bridges that span the gorge, the largest and newest of which features in the center of our homepage image and is—appropriately enough—called Puente Nuevo (New Bridge). Despite its name, the bridge is more than a couple of centuries old—it was completed in 1793 and connects the Moorish old town, La Ciudad, with the new town, El Mercadillo.
The Puente Nuevo was completed by Spanish architect Jose Martín de Aldehuela, who also designed another of the historic town's famous landmarks—the open-air circular building you can see to the left of the bridge. The Plaza de Toros de Ronda is one of Spain's oldest bullrings. Built entirely of stone in the 1780s, it's considered the birthplace of modern bullfighting. It was frequented by two giants of American culture—Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles, who were inspired by Ronda's beauty and bullfighting traditions. They spent many summers in these parts, and Welles' ashes are buried in an urn near Ronda at the country estate of his great bullfighting friend, Antonio Ordóñez.