Wednesday, 16 June 2010

La Casa del Rey Moro (House of the Moorish King)

A trip to nearby Ronda today, a lovely town about 45 minutes drive south of Olvera.
We parked the car in the underground car park at the top of Calle Espinel, also known as "La Bola", and walked down the main shopping street to the bullring at the bottom, turning towards the Puente Nueva (New Bridge) that spans the famous Tajo gorge.

Anne took the opportunity to do a little shopping at her favourite craft shop. Another pretty painted plate is going on the wall at home by the looks of it!.

The views from the bridge. We decided to visit the 14th century moorish Water Mine in the House of the Moorish King that overlooks the gorge and is pictured here on the right hand side of the photo.

A ceramic wall plaque on the outside of the palace.

Sadly, the palace has fallen into a state of disrepair after long standing disputes between the owner and the local and regional authorities. Click here for more information.

The gardens however are in pristine condition with many terraces and water features

A well signposted path leads to the steps that wind down through the rock to the base of the gorge below.
The mine has a steep staircase carved out of the rock, dark and wet in places, and passes through several rooms before eventually emerging at the bottom of the gorge. Water was originally extracted by a long gone waterwheel.

The exit at the bottom where we emerged into the bright sunlight and the peace and quiet of the gorge.

The water in the river was crystal clear.

The only way out of the mine is back up the way that you came so after climbing the steps, well earned refreshments were definitely required.
We sat for a while in the Plaza Duquesa de Parcent before heading home.


Russ said...

We really enjoyed our brief trip to Ronda. Funny, but we visited friends in Wisconsin (just before we moved to Florida), and they were showing us around their home. In their game room, they have a framed poster from the Ronda bullring. Small world! We're eager to return to Olvera, and we will as soon as possible, but my new job has me traveling extensively. Look for us in 2011!

Francisco said...

Nice pics, Alan!

I used to visit Ronda several times per month. Actually my uncle and my aunt are still living there. No doubts... one of my favourite places in Andalucía, although it´s a little town there are lots of funny things to do over there.

By the way! I´m already back in Olvera! I came back from Estonia last week. Hope to see you and your wife! Olvera is a village :P