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The White Towns of Andalusia

There are many publas blancas, or white towns, that dot the hills throughout the picturesque region of Andalusia, Spain. Semester at Sea’s recent visit to the town of Ronda gave us the opportunity to discover this majestic puebla blanca while learning of its history, religion and culture. Travel through this small, gorgeous town with us, as we explore the sights of one of Andalusia’s most famous white towns.

Settled since prehistoric times, the Andalusia region of Spain has been influenced by many cultures, most heavily the Moors. Distinctly Arabic with narrow winding roads, the White Towns of Spain were not even white before the 1920’s, but a myriad of naturally occurring colors.


Cobblestone and brick line almost exclusively every single road and sidewalk, while wrought iron gates can be found throughout.


Physician, Gregory Gallik (top left) encounters one of the many stray cats walking these streets. Professor Iain Campbell and Alessandra Guglielmi of University of Colorado Boulder (bottom left) share their experiences. Nearby, Siera Reisler, (bottom right) of Monserrat College of Arts, reflects on the day.


Despite the Moorish architecture and city planning, every town has at least one Roman Catholic church. Several have two, in which case each congregation would often bicker for generations on which had the right to be called primary. In this photo, SAS student Jordan Fowler of the University of Arizona explores the Roman Catholic church of Ronda.
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