|a display in La Boqueria (photo from ‘A Window To Spain’ facebook)|
The world-famous La Boqueria, the 19th century market, is located in La Rambla. It is Spain’s biggest and oldest market. I read somewhere that it is the most visited building in Barcelona. I find that incredible. In this city there are historical buildings galore and incredible buildings like the Sagrada Familia and yet a food market attracts more visitors!
In Calle Marqués de Salvatierran are a number of notable buildings. Capilla de la Santa Cruz stands at one end of the street and next door is one of the finest houses in Ronda, the Palacio de Salvatierra. It was built in 1784 and boasts an exquisite wrought iron balustrade, which is almost as decorative as the façade of the house. The old Marqués must have been important to have both the house and the street named after him!
One of the most attractive buildings in Ronda is the Mondragón Palace. It has Gothic and Renaissance features as well as some of the original Moorish mosaics. Built in the 14th century, it was formerly a Moorish residence. The Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabel, also lived there for a while. Nowadays, it houses the Museum of Ronda & the Serrania.
Inside there are steps down to the foot of the gorge. Now these are Arabic. The 14th century Mina stairs was built by the Moors to prevent water blockades in times of war. The steps were sculpted out of the rock and, according to various guidebooks, there are meant to be 365 of them. Well, on my visit, I counted only 299! That was enough! Returning to the top quite exhausted, it was with relief that I rested – in the delightful gardens of the mansion.
‘La Casa del Rey Moro’ – allegedly the house of a Moorish King – hence its name. However, the current building is an 18th century palace with beautiful gardens designed by Forestier, the famous French garden designer. Perhaps the palace has been built on the site of a former building because, according to legend, this place was the residence of King Al-Mutadid who allegedly drank his wine from the skulls of his enemies.