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‘Moorish King’s Home’ Had a Secret Staircase to Survive Sieges


Nestled throughout the rugged panorama of Ronda, Spain, lies a hidden gem of historic ingenuity: La Casa del Rey Moro, or the Home of the Moorish King. Whereas this historic web site is famend for its breathtaking views of the El Tajo gorge and its lush gardens, it holds a secret that speaks volumes concerning the tumultuous previous of this Andalusian city.

Regardless of its identify, Casa del Rey Moro wasn’t residence to a Moorish king and wasn’t constructed till the early 18th century. In 1911, it handed to the Duchess of Parcent, who renovated it within the Neo-Mudéjar type. This development, rising within the late nineteenth century, paid homage to Spain’s multicultural previous, drawing from the Mudéjar structure of Islamic rule on the Iberian Peninsula lasting from the eighth to fifteenth centuries.

The gardens, usually dubbed “Moorish,” had been truly designed by French landscaper Jean Claude Forestier in 1912 and acknowledged as a Web site of Cultural Curiosity in 1943. So, what precisely does the Casa del Rey Moro must do with the Moors, aside from being impressed by their structure?

La Casa del Rey Moro in Ronda hides a secret staircase. (Pernelle Voyage / Adobe Stock)

La Casa del Rey Moro in Ronda hides a secret staircase. (Pernelle Voyage / Adobe Inventory)

The Secret Staircase and Water Mine at La Casa del Rey Moro

Ronda was no stranger to battle. Positioned strategically atop towering cliffs, the city was coveted not solely by varied factions throughout the Muslim world, but in addition by neighboring Christian kingdoms searching for to push again in opposition to Moorish dominance.

Within the eighth century, the Moors—Muslim inhabitants of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula—took Ronda from the Visigoths, a Germanic tribe that had established a kingdom after the autumn of the Western Roman Empire. After its conquest, Ronda grew to become an necessary fortress city throughout Moorish rule.

View of the Guadalevín River as you descent the secret staircase under the Casa del Rey Moro in Ronda. (Ingo Bartussek / Adobe Stock)

View of the Guadalevín River as you descent the key staircase underneath the Casa del Rey Moro in Ronda. (Ingo Bartussek / Adobe Inventory)

Hidden throughout the gardens of the Casa del Rey Moro, is an historic water mine believed to this point again to the Moorish interval across the 14th century. This subterranean marvel served as an important element of Ronda’s defensive infrastructure, safeguarding the city’s water provide throughout occasions of siege and offering a hidden exit throughout occasions of disaster.

A exceptional feat of hydraulic engineering, it’s believed the water mine was constructed in the course of the Nasrid Kingdom, the final Muslim dynasty in Iberia. Carved into the rock of the Tajo wall, it integrated a hidden staircase of 231 steps that led to the Guadalevín River beneath, guarded by a extremely fortified entrance. The meticulous restoration of those constructions was undertaken by the Duchess of Parcent, guaranteeing its preservation for future generations.

The water mine was pivotal in the course of the reconquest of Ronda by the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, in 1485. The Marquis of Cadiz, conscious of its significance, focused its entrance, disabling the water wheel to chop off provide, guaranteeing give up and the top of Moorish rule.

High picture: The key staircase at la Casa del Rey Moro in Ronda. Supply: Ingo Bartussek / Adobe Inventory

By Cecilia Bogaard



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