Vélez-Malaga, often simply referred to as Vélez, is the capital of La Axarquía the center of an agricultural area known for its strawberries and vineyards.
The muscatel grapes from which the famous Málaga wines are made grow on those vineyards.
The city is a center for the processing of olive oil and sugar cane.
If you are in Velez on Thursdays, take the time to walk around the weekly market, always an enjoyable experience.
The city was important in both Roman times, under the name Menoba.
During Moorish rule it was known as Ballix-Malaca (fortress of Málaga).
In 1487 Ferdinand conquered the city and the Christian flag was hoisted on the battlements of the castle.
This victory paved the way for the fall of the city of Nasrid about five years later.
There are also several remains of Phoenician cemeteries and graves that bear witness to an even older history.
What must you have seen?
Built in the 13th century, the Moorish castle, Castillo De San Miguel, is the landmark of Velez-Malaga.
The Spanish government has beautifully restored the building.
From the battlements you have a good view of the surrounding landscape.
Access is possible by car. There is sufficient parking space on the property.
For the sporty, you can also reach the castle on foot via the footpath from Calle Forteleza Alta that rises through forests behind the Iglesia de Santa Maria.
Walk from the village up the winding path to the Torre de Homenaje (Homage Tower of Keep).
On arrival at the base of the tower it seems smaller than it first appeared from a distance.
The main tower was completely reconstructed in 1970, when only a small part of the western wall remained.
It was popularly known as the “El Deo”. The tower is today 18 m long and 6.5 m square base.
This is larger than the original and in four floors.
Adjacent to the main tower is an L-shaped entrance without a roof.
The two reconstructed Moorish horseshoe arches are striking.
The original outer castle walls in the southeast are being dug up and reconstructed.
The area is generally well maintained and many different trees and plants in the area add to the atmosphere.
The old city.
The oldest part of the city, known as Arrabal de San Sebastián, is a picturesque area with narrow streets.
You will also come across attractive mansions built in the 16th and 17th centuries, including the restored Palacio del Marques de Beniel.
Here the International Summer School of the Axarquía is held open with all aspects of culture, including flamenco concerts.
Among the various churches that can be found in the city, the 15th-century church of Santa María la Mayor is the most beautiful in our opinion.
With its beautiful tower in cross-section, which still contains the minaret of the preceding mosque.
Inside the church, Moorish arches separate a triple nave and there is a beautiful Mudéjar ceiling.
The Mudéjar style is a mixture of Moorish influences on the one hand and Christian influences on the other.
This church was the first building in Spain to be erected by Christians after their victory over the Moors.
The Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación was originally a Visigoth diocese before it was turned into a mosque during the Moorish period and again into a church after the Christian conquest.
The San Juan Bautista church is also interesting because of the late Gothic architecture and the naturalistic sculpture Cristo Crucificado by Pedro de Mena.
Fiestas or parties.
Every year in July a prestigious guitar competition takes place with free concerts that take place on the terrace of the Palacio del Marques de Beniel.
🙁 More controversial, Vélez also holds legalized cockfights every Sunday during which masses of people come to bet.