Ronda
Spain
First settled as "Arunda" by the Celtiberians and subsequently as "Munda" by the Romans, Ronda is best known for its Islamic history. By the eighth century the Moors had established an active court here which managed to sustain independence from Crusader invasion due to its tactical position surmounting the Tajo gorge in the highlands of the Malaga region, deep in Southern Spain. This period features Arab fortifications including a tower of the albarrani style attached to a Moorish bridge extending over the gorge, and a hammam (public bath) that dates to the thirteenth century. With improved military technology by employing metal cannonballs (used for the first time in Spain), the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile eventually lay siege to the city in 1485. It was of the last Islamic cities to fall in Spain. Sources: Robertson, Ian. 1980. Blue Guide Spain: The Mainland. London and Tonbridge: Ernest Benn Limited, 514-517. Goodwin, Godfrey. 1990. Islamic Spain. London: Penguin Group, 97-100.
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