Velez - Malaga
Vélez-Málaga is the perfect combination of culture in the inland villages of Axarquía and vibrancy in the coastal enclaves in the province of Malaga. Its rich architectural heritage combined with 25 kilometres of coastline make this village a perfect destination all year round.
A stroll through the old quarter of Vélez-Málaga, declared a Site of Historic and Artistic Interest, is a trip back in time. Impressive architectural treasures and longstanding traditions still survive from the past. If looking to relax, what could be better than a trip to the Mediterranean Sea surrounding the district. The tourist resort of Torre del Mar awaits you with its magnificent promenade and beaches. In Caleta de Vélez, the fishing harbour and marina, and the Baviera Golf club, one of the best ""Pay & Play"" courses in the world.
The Palace of the Marquis of Beniel is the most representative example of civil architecture in the capital of Axarquía. The construction of this unique building, a blend of Mudejar and Mannerist architecture, was completed in 1609. Today it is the home to the Foundation set up in memory of María Zambrano, the well-known female thinker born in Vélez-Málaga.
Close to the Palace lies the Casa de Cervantes, a manor house from the 16th century. The writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra stayed here, and according to popular tradition, an illegitimate son of King Philip IV was also born here.
A visit to the Hospital de San Juan de Dios must also be included on the cultural tour. Founded in 1487 by the Catholic Kings, it features a church with two naves and a beautiful Mudejar brick courtyard. Other examples of civil architecture in Vélez-Málaga include the Casa Larios, the Teatro del Carmen, the Pósito and the Fernando VIand San Francisco Fountains.
Must-sees for lovers of religious art include the Santa María de la Encarnación and San Juan Bautista churches. Both were built on the sites of primitive mosques in Gothic-Mudejar style, and both feature impressive bell towers. The former is today the home of the Holy Week Museum in Vélez-Málaga and contains a beautiful altarpiece from the 16th century.
The Convent of las Carmelitas de Jesús, María y José, the Monastery of Nuestra Señora de Gracia and the Convent of San Francisco and Church of Santiago are also worthy of a visit. Two chapels commemorate the entrance of King Ferdinand the Catholic to the town, together with a further three shrines. One of these is dedicated to the patron saint of the town, the Virgen de los Remedios,
Vélez-Málaga has held on to some interesting relics from its Arab past including remains of part of the ancient city wall and the Royal Entrance to the City. The Fortress was constructed at the highest point of the city in the 10th century. It was one of the most important Arab castles in the Nasrid Dynasty and the Torre del Homenaje (Keep) still stands today together with the remains of the original walls.