Central Electric Ruins – Ronda, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Ronda, Spain

Central Electric Ruins

The hidden ruins of an old hydroelectric plant reclaimed by nature. 

Ronda is such a breathtaking location filled with a great mixture of natural beauty, stunning architecture, and fascinating history. It is a hiker’s dream to be let loose on this graduated topography. The ruins of the old Central Electrical hydroelectricity plant are hidden just beyond the scenic trails and have been reclaimed by vegetation, which makes this verdant treasure a challenge to uncover.

On the south side of the El Tajo canyon, east of the Puente Nuevo, once stood a hydroelectricity plant powered by the Guadalevín River. This power plant was originally constructed sometime in the early 1900s to harness the power of the river and provide electricity to the town and surrounding region. It later fell into disuse and was abandoned. 

From above, you can’t even elicit that there is anything here apart from the trees because the vegetation has completely taken over. Once you have made your way to the ruins, there are three main buildings, including one carved into the side of the cliff itself.

Completely abandoned for many decades, the majority of the structures have deteriorated, with the timber parts almost completely missing and even the stonework is beginning to crumble away. While walking through the ruins, it is unbelievable to think that mere feet away, hundreds of other tourists walk each day without ever knowing this lost little village exists.

Know Before You Go

These ruins are not on any maps, and there are no signs directing the way. If you follow the main walking trail from Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora down to Arco del Cristo Murallas de Albacara y Molinos del Tajo, you will want to walk through the arch then continue on the small overgrown path towards the Puente Nuevo. Following this path, you will have to climb over several large boulders and negotiate down a small escarpment. Eventually, you will come across an area where the foliage becomes denser, completely obscuring the view of the Puente Nuevo. Continue along this path until you come across the ruins of a building with a dilapidated sign for the Central Electric Company.

While this location is free to visit and accessible 24 hours a day, it is strongly recommended that you stick to daylight hours. The ravine path leading to the ruins is reasonably easy to walk for a seasoned traveler by daylight; however, it would be quite treacherous by night and there are a number of areas where the ground has given way leaving open voids to the waterway below. In addition, there were some signs of possible habitation by vagrants, meaning that there may be people using these ruins as shelter, or at least it is a night spot for local teens.

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