Ronda is situated in a very mountainous area about 750 m above sea level. The Guadalevin river runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep El Tajo canyon upon which the city is perched. Ronda was first settled by the early Celts, but its Roman and then Moorish rulers are reflected most prominently in its architecture. The forces of Catholic Spain took control of the town in 1485.
Three bridges, Puente Romano ("Roman Bridge", also known as the Puente San Miguel), Puente Viejo ("Old Bridge", also known as the Puente Arabe or "Arab Bridge") and Puente Nuevo ("New Bridge"), span the canyon. The term "nuevo" is a bit of a misnomer, since this bridge was completed in 1793. The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, towering 120 meters above the canyon floor, and all three serve as some of the city's most impressive features.