Acinipo, The Old Ronda

Acinipo is placed on a limestone plateau that raises at 1000 meters above sea level. Beneath this geological formation there is an aquifer that drains into several springs. Archaeological works find out that Acinipo was first occupied in the Copper Age in the 10th-9th century BC.
The Roman presence since the year 206 BC brought great changes, such as monumental buildings and an own mint, with coins that include sprigs and grape bunches, village prosperity symbols. After the 3rd century AC Acinipo fell into a decline and was replaced to ‘Arunda’ (the nowadays Ronda). However the plateau was occupied until the Middle Ages, when the ruin of the Roman theatre was used as an observation tower by the Muslim Kingdom of Granada.

By climbing up towards the theatre you can still tell why this place was of strategic importance. Not only for its 360º views of the surrounding valleys, but first of all for the control of the upper basins of the Guadiaro and Guadalete rivers. Water is life.

Acinipo is not the best maintained archaeological site. It has been abandoned for centuries, only used by farmers ploughing the land and piling all the ‘old stones’ to large molehills. The archaeological works only started in 1967, focused on the Roman theatre, declared National Monument. It is definitely worth a visit, if not for the historic value than at least for the stunning views. Entrance is free. In summer it can be quite hot. In winter it is often windy and on a cloudy day you feel like you’re in Wuthering Heights.

 

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