The Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) along with the Plaza de Toros (Bullring) de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda are the two most emblematic symbols that are the Heart and soul of Ronda.
Two very important construction jobs were neended to build this bridge. The first began in 1735 during the reign of Fernando Vth when a 35 metre arch was built across the gap. The work only lasted eight months, but turned out to be insufficient as some six years later it was unable to withstand the force of the flood water and was washed away killing about 50 people in the process.
A few years later in 1751 work began again on the bridge and after after some 42 years the bridge was finally finished in 1793. The completion date cooincided with the Real Feria of May in Ronda. The same architect, Mr. José Martín de Aldehuela, a local from Manzanera, conducted the work from beginning to end.
This masterpiece stands 98 metres high on two strong pillars and is entirely built made out of hewn blocks of stone that were taken from the bottem of the Tajo gorge. It connected the ancient quarter of the town with the more modern part known as the “Mercadillo”, which allowed for a lot of urban development. The views from the bridge of the houses that are literally clinging to the cliffs are quite spectacular. It has three round arches, the lower one acting as a butress; the second is much larger than the other two and is flanked by two butresses. The arches that lead into the side streets are linked into these butresses. The main central channel provides space for a vaulted room with two balconies.
This magnificient monument houses a modern day Centro de Interpretación (Exhibition Centre), which provides displays and detailed explanations of the different aspects of the impressive piece of engineering and its surroundings; fauna, vegetation, geology, urban development, and history. Visitors are also welcome to stay and watch a 4-minute long audio video presentation which shows photos of the bridge, the city and its surroundings.