Stage 5 of the Vuelta a España 2014 is a 180 km flat stage from Priego de Córdoba to Ronda.
It will be a flat stage for the first 120 kilometers, after which it will have the peloton climbing two mountains that, although not excessively difficult, may well break the group up and avoid a mass sprint towards the city of Córdoba. The stage may be decided within a small peloton, although it will also be favorable for the brave who seek success by breaking away.
DATE: August 27 2014, Wednesday
STAGE TYPE: Flat
START-FINISH: Priego de Córdoba (610 m) > Ronda (720 m)
LENGTH OF THE COURSE: 180.0 km
Start: Priego de Córdoba
Priego de Córdoba is a town and municipality of Andalucia Spain in the extreme southeastern portion of the province of Córdoba, near the headwater of the Guadajoz River, and on the northern slope of the Sierra de Priego.
The oldest church was built in the 13th century and subsequently restored; it has a fine chapel. There are ruins of an, originally Moorish, castle (currently (2006) under restoration) having been a fortified city of the Moors (with the Hispano-Arabic name Baguh) which was captured by the Christians under Ferdinand III in 1225, lost again in 1327, and finally retaken in 1340 by Alfonso XI.
Some of the best examples of the Spanish Baroque are found in the numerous churches in Priego. The first President of the Second Spanish Republic, Niceto Alcala-Zamora, was from Priego. Priego is a village found on the ‘Ruta de la Califata’ (trade route of the Caliphate).
The oldest section of Priego is its Barrio de la Villa. It is bordered on one side by the town’s natural fortress, a high cliff. The alleys that wind through this part of the town are Moorish in style, decorated proudly by the populace with flower pots and religious icons. Some homes retain the ancient tunnel system that went from their cellars (bodegas) to the castle.
Priego is a member of the Route of the Caliphate. It is called “City of the water” because of the many springs and “Jewel of the Baroque Native of Córdoba” for its multitude of Baroque-style constructions. It has been referred to as “the lock and key to the Kingdom of Granada”.
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The local gastronomy stands out for its extra virgin olive oil with the appellation of origin “Priego de Cordoba”; its festivities that have been declared of National Touristic Interest (Holy Week and Sundays of May); and one of the most symbolic traditions, full of personality, headed by the Hermanos de la Aurora.
Ronda is a city in the Spanish province of Málaga. It is located about 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of the city of Málaga, within the autonomous community of Andalusia.
Three bridges, Puente Romano (“Roman Bridge”, also known as the Puente San Miguel), Puente Viejo (“Old Bridge”, also known as the Puente Árabe or “Arab Bridge”) and Puente Nuevo (“New Bridge”), span the canyon. The term “nuevo” is a bit of a misnomer, as the building of this bridge commenced in 1751 and took until 1793 to complete. The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, towering 120 metres (390 ft) above the canyon floor, and all three serve as some of the city’s most impressive features. The former town hall, which sits next to the Puente Nuevo, is the site of a parador, and has a view of the Tajo canyon.
The “Corrida Goyesca” is a unique and historical bullfight that takes place once a year in Ronda in the Plaza de toros de Ronda, the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain. It was built in 1784 in the Neoclassical style by the architect José Martin de Aldehuela, who also designed the Puente Nuevo.
The partially intact Baños árabes (“Arab baths”) are found below the city and date back to the 13th and 14th centuries.
American artists Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles spent many summers in Ronda as part-time residents of Ronda’s old town quarter called La Ciudad. Both wrote about Ronda’s beauty and famous bull-fighting traditions. Their collective accounts have contributed to Ronda’s popularity over time.
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Ronda is one of Spain’s most important tourist destinations and the third most visited city in Andalucia. This is due to the fact that the city has enormous historical, cultural and artistic wealth, forged by the passing centuries and the most important civilisations that left their mark in every corner.
It is also due to Ronda’s location, on the spot where three natural parks meet and in a mountain range characterised by its unparalleled environmental values.
Its gastronomy, its people and its varied range of tourist attractions, make this destination a place truly worth visiting and returning to.
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