"Ronda's "New" Bridge" Top 5 Page for this destination Andalucía Things to Do Tip by Bwana_Brown
Andalucía Things to Do: 228 reviews and 367 photos
As far as man-made attractions go in Ronda, Puente Nuevo wins hands-down! You probably need a full day to properly explore this amazing structure from above, inside and below - as well as from various distant viewpoints.
As Ronda grew, in 1751 plans were made to bridge the 68-m wide and 120-m deep gorge at this location. Using a system of pulleys, large quarried stones from the bottom of the gorge were hoisted up one by one to begin the first stage of the project - building the foundation and the first smaller arch over the river and, on top of that, the huge second arch that brought the bridge height to 90 m. This was no quick project, with the original architect no longer involved by 1778 and the project coming to a stop for a short period. However, work finally resumed on the final stage of building the two upper arches as well as a room just under the roadway (presently a museum with the small window you can see above the main arch). With a height of almost 100-m above the gorge, Puente Nuevo was finally completed in 1793, fifty-two years after the last bridge across the gorge had collapsed!
The 2nd photo gives a good overall view of the three layers of the bridge's construction, including the tall arch that took so long to build. The actual road across the bridge remains cobbled to this day and there are stone seats and look-out platforms built into the sides of the bridge - great places to linger a bit for awe-inspiring views up and down the El Tajo gorge in either direction!
Ronda's other river, the Rio Guadalevin, is very short in length, rising in the hills behind Ronda and finishing as a tributary of the Rio Guadiaro after flowing only a relatively short distance. However, the dramatic way it makes this journey is what has made Ronda the 3rd most popular tourist destination in Andalucia, displacing Cordoba and with only Sevilla and Granada drawing more visitors.
Over the centuries the Rio Guadalevin has cut its way down through the peridotite rock layer the city sits on, creating the 120-m deep El Tajo gorge as gravity forces it to flow toward the Rio Guadiaro valley below. The depth of the gorge was awe-inspiring as we first looked down as well as out from Puente Nuevo toward the distant broad valley (3rd photo). The 4th photo was taken after we crossed the road to the other side of the bridge to look inland, and shows a much narrower gorge as the river winds its way into and through Ronda from the distant hills.
Directions: On Ronda's main street, close to the Bullring and Parador hotel - spanning the gorge that cuts the city in half
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