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Ronda Monuments

Ronda – Arrabal Bajo, Viejo o de San Miguel

Ronda Monuments

Ronda – Arrabal Bajo, Viejo o de San Miguel

Ronda in the Nasrid period housed two suburbs: the Bajo or Viejo and the Alto or Nuevo. Now we are going to stop at El Viejo, also called Curtiderias and San Miguel, for the chapel that currently exists that presumably replaced an old mosque. This suburb within the walls extended to the feet of the medina and its internal organization was made by the execution of non-homogeneous and narrow urban terraces in order to adapt to the natural slope of the land. Thises terraces of the Arrabal were articulated in relation to what would be its three essential arteries: the path of Ronda stuck to its walled fence (14th century) an thouse that went towards the doors of the Cijara and Esparteros of of the Colmenar, that put in communication this suburb with the medina and the high suburb.

This suburb was the first image of Ronda for any traveler who came from the north, that is, from the interior of the kingdom of Granada. He entered through the former “Puerta de la Puente”, which was sadly demolished at the beginning of the 20th century and which was located between the aforementioned mosque and the nearby Arab Baths that were outside the walled enclosure.

The suburbs were also a city. The references to difierent trades that still persist in microtoponymy, reveal the artisanal and / or industrial nature of this place: esparteros, ollerías, tanners, potters… A character that the archaeological information that we have not only does not question, but confirms.

In the two small archaeological interventios carried out in this area, artisanal facilities were confirmed. In one case, a tannery, whose tradition continued in modern times, next to the Arab Baths (visible today in its own enclosure). In the second case, a pottery was found, in which pools were documented for the decantation of clays, among other dependencies.

The surface of the Arrabal was around 3 hectares, which was almost 19%  of the whole Nazarí city of Ronda, which had a total area of 16 hectares.

During the Castilian conquest and the siege of Ronda, in 1485, the first thing that knocked down the Christian artillery was the wall of the Bajo or Viejo Arrabal. This attack was made from the Cerro de la Pedrea, located to the East, in front of the own suburb. In this place was located one of the real that besieged Ronda, headed by D. Rodrigo Ponce de Leon, Marquis of Cádiz.

One of the first concerns of the Catholic Kings after the conquest of Ronda was the urgent repair of the damage caused by the artillery, especially in the wall and the fortress, since the war with Granada had not yet concluded. After the siege, there is evidence in the Tumbo of Seville of several missives sent from Ronda for with they requested masons, carpenters and stoneculters to repair walls and towers destroyed, tasks that were never carried out in the low fence.

Already between 1505  and 1523, some works were developed for fear of the danger entaled by the Moorish raids in the mountainous area. Despite the arrangements, the state of the walls of the suburb was still very poor in 1572. This area of the city began to accumulate its urban decline in favor of a new settlement located in the northern area tha is called the Mercadillo.

Viejo Suburb - Ronda

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