Ronda Spain - La Casa del Rey Moro
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La Casa del Ray Moro, the Water Mine and Garden
city wall

a walk down the cliff by way of the reconstructed city wall.
Plaza de Toros (Bullring)
The new gate and the "Palacio del Marques de Salvatierra"
Ronda Hotel
Our review of Hotel Gabriel

Cities to visit near Ronda:

Jerez de la Frontera
Costa del Sol Region


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Basque Country, Aragon and La Rioja
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La Casa del Rey Moro (The Moorish Kings house) - Is your key to gaining entrance to the Water Mine and the house's Hanging Gardens; find La Casa del Rey Moro and you have found the entrance to the Water Mine.

La Casa del Rey Moro, has a deceptive name, it was never home to a Moorish King. In fact, since the house was built in the 1700's no Moors have ever lived in the house. Still, La Casa del Rey Moro is significant for two reasons the Water Mine and its Hanging Gardens (designed by Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier).

Note - La Casa del Rey More has been undergoing renovation for use as a hotel, by the time of your visit it may be open for guests.

The Water Mine is a true Moorish structure likely constructed by the Moorish King Abomelic.

La Casa del Rey Moro as seen from the garden.
Photo above - La Casa del Rey Moro as viewed from the garden.

Consisting of a series of interconnecting stairways and chambers the construction known as the Water Mine starts at the top of Ronda's cliff face and meanders down to the Guadalevin River.

steep stairs and arch buttresses of the water mine
Photo Above (top layer) - the winding stairway of the water mine: good hips and knees required here. Second layer photo, the entire structure is buttressed by several arch supports.

In earlier times the water mine not only provided water for the city but it was essential in helping the city withstand an extended attack from the outside.

Historical reports indicate it was slaves that built the water mine and when completed slaves were then used to haul water to the city above.

During the time of the Reconquest, when the Catholic Monarchs were trying to take the Iberian peninsula back from the Moors, Ronda was frequently under siege. The steep cliffs around Ronda ruled out taking the city by forced. Blocking entrance to the city and starving out the population was not practical either, Ronda could last a very long time with out a re supply from the outside.

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review of the hotel Gabriel in Ronda
Ronda Hotel
Our review of Hotel Gabriel

The key to a successful siege of Ronda was cutting off its water supply. In 1485 the Marquis of Cádiz successfully attacked the fortress like garrison at the bottom of the Water Mine and then took control of Ronda's water supply. With out water Ronda's citizens had the choice of surrender or die, they chose to surrender.

The Water Mine was restored in 1911. Today, for a small fee, you can retrace the footsteps of the Water Mine slaves and descend 300+/- feet down to the river. And then, like the slaves of old, you get to climb the stairs back up to the top of the gorge. Personally, I would not miss the experience, but it is a work out, and not necessarily everyone's cup of tea.

Photos right - the garrison at the bottom of the Water Mine and (bottom layer photo) a view of the gorge as seen from the garrison's doorway.

The door to the water mine garrison, located at the bottom of the gorge

View the Gardens at La Casa del Rey Moro

Some of Ronda's Sights:
The New Bridge
The Puente Nuevo is over 200 years old.
Ronda - city wall
A walk down the cliff by way of the reconstructed city wall.

Palacio de Mondragón
The Palace is both an historic treasure and a museum

The new gate and the "Palacio del Marques de Salvatierra"

The Restored Arab Baths
Considered one of the best preserved Arab Baths in Europe.

Plaza de Toros
The famous bullring of Ronda
La Casa del Ray Moro, the Water Mine and Garden




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This page last updated December 2008

Information on this page comes from my March 1999 and October 2006 visit to Spain