About Casa del Rey Moro
Casa del Rey Moro (House of the Moorish King) in Ronda was, contrary to its name, built in the 18th century on the site of a former Moorish castle. It is home to both hanging gardens and a Moorish water mine.
History of Casa del Rey Moro
Casa del Rey Moro was actually named after a tile on its façade which depicts a Moorish King. It was built in the 18th century and since 1767 has belonged to the family that held that Marquis of Salvatierra. In 1911, it was sold to the Duchess of Parcent, who extended and renovated the house into a Neo-Mudejar style.
It’s apparently Moorish gardens are even more recent, having been designed by French landscape gardener Jean Claude Forestier in 1912. These hanging gardens were declared a Site of Cultural Interest – the highest degree of heritage protection – from 1943, and are hugely popular amongst visitors.
The site is also known for its incorporation of one genuine and important relic of Ronda’s Moorish occupation – the so-called Water Mine.
The mine was built in the 14th century as a water supply for the town at a time Ronda was continually in the firing line between the Moors of Granada and the Christians of Seville.
The mine being built enabled water to be brought from the rio Guadelevin below. It was the Moorish King Abomelic who is said to have ordered slaves to build the Casa del Rey Moro Water Mine and local legend has it that he hid his gold there.
Casa del Rey Moro Today
The gardens and mine are open for visitors throughout the year, with the opening time schedule varying due to the summer and winter timetables.
Today, a trip to the mine offers an atmospheric descent down some 300 steps through various chambers.
These chambers include the Sala de la Noria, the name for the large Ferris wheel which was used to extract water, the Weapons Room where equipment was kept, and the Room of Secrets, named because two visitors standing at the edge of the domed room can whisper to one another perfectly clearly, while someone standing in the middle will find their conversation unintelligible.
Getting to Casa del Rey Moro
From the centre of Ronda, Casa del Rey Moro is reachable in around 15 minutes by foot via Carrera Espinel, or 12-15 minutes by car via Calle Granada or Calle Genal.