Ronda: The city that’s divided in two by a canyon

Not every city is divided into two by a 390-foot-deep canyon; but, then, not every city is like Ronda, in the Spanish province of Málaga.

The ginormous gap that separates Ronda into two is El Tajo canyon, through which the Guadalevín river flows. The Guadalevin river is a tributary of the Guadiaro, which runs south from the Sierra Bermeja into the Mediterranean at Sotogrande.

The Guadalevín river at Ronda

The two halves of the city are connected by three large bridges that cross El Tajo canyon. The largest and the newest of the bridges is Puente Nuevo, which is Spanish for the rather unimaginative “New Bridge”.

Puente Nuevo (or "New Bridge")

Puente Nuevo was built in 1751, taking 42 years to build and costing the lives of 50 men. Underneath the central arch of the bridge is a chamber which was used for a variety of different reasons, including as a prison. Captured opponents were supposedly tortured in the chamber during the Spanish civil war, with some poor souls being thrown out the windows to die on the rocks beneath.

Puente Nuevo (or "New Bridge")

Ronda and Puente Nuevo

The other two bridges that span the canyon are Puente Viejo, which is Spanish for “Old Bridge” (again, unimaginative) and Puente Romano, Spanish for “Roman Bridge”. Puente Viejo apparently now only accepts pedestrian traffic; I assume this is down to its old age.

El Tajo canyon

View from Ronda

Photo credits: Manfred Werner (CC BY-SA 3.0), Konstantin (CC BY-SA 3.0), papalars (CC BY-ND 2.0), Mark Gilbert (CC BY 3.0) and valderrama (CC BY 2.0)

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About Dom Stapleton

Dom Stapleton

As well as being the world’s northernmost capital city, Reykjavik in Iceland is also an incredible place to visit.

We stayed in a hotel right in the middle of the city and spent most days walking around from there. The main thing we noticed (apart from the cold, of course) was that the people are so friendly. At home, trying to cross the road is a nightmare, but in Reykjavik, the cars are literally queuing up to let you across.

When my partner and I went, in January 2013, the sun only started rising at about 10 am, which was a strange experience. And it got dark at about 4 pm each day!

Dom works in our marketing team

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