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Ronda

town, Malaga provincia (province), in the Andalusia comunidad autonoma (autonomous community), southern Spain. It lies in the Ronda Mountains west of Malaga city. The town is situated on two hills divided by a deep ravine (El Tajo de Ronda) containing the Grande River, which is an affluent of the Guadiaro River. The ravine is crossed by several bridges, notably an arch structure 300 feet (90 metres) high built in 1761. The town occupies the site of an ancient Iberian settlement and was known in Roman times as Acinipo. It was occupied by the Moors from the 8th to the 15th century, when it was reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, on May 20, 1485. Both Roman and Moorish remains survive, including a Roman theatre and an underground staircase (restored in 1911) built from the town to the river by the Moors to prevent water blockades in times of war. Spain's oldest bullring, a stone Neoclassical structure (c. 1785), is also found in Ronda; it is now a museum. Ronda is an agricultural (grapes and grain) trade centre, and flour, leather, brandies, clothing, and chocolates are manufactured there. Tourism is also important to the economy. Ronda is surrounded by national parks; one of them, Los Alcornocales Natural Park, is one of Spain's most important cork-oak forests. Pop. (2007 est.) mun., 36,122.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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