As the capital of the Axarquia, it is the largest town in the region and the most significant in terms of history, culture and wealth. Most of its land lies in the valley of the river of the same name and is devoted to the cultivation of fruit, vegetables, subtropical crops, sugar cane, etc.
Though its origins date back much further, the town's riches and strategic value really came to the fore in the Arabic era. The development has limited to an area known as the Villa the old village, that still retains the Puerta Real and the Puerta de Antequera. Theyl are also numerous sights and attractions including the Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, the Municipal Palace, the Church of San Juan Bautista, the Convent of San Francisco and so on. Of the old fortress is preserved in good condition the Torre del Homenaje and the Paño de la Muralla.
As the town has developed, an areas which have left behind their fishing or agricultural origins to become sun and sand holiday resorts: Benajarafe, Almayate, la Caleta de Vélez, Mezquitilla, Lagos and, most notably, Torre del Mar, a densely-populated district which boasts excellent tourist services as well as magnificent beaches which are clean and well looked-after.
A series of legends prevail regarding the origins of the town, some of which confuse fact with fiction. Some identify Velez with Sexi, capital of the ancient region of Sexitania, while others attribute its founding to Beluz, the Lybian Hercules, insisting that he gave the town his name.
A Christian tradition claims the presence of St. Peter in the town.
Details obtained from archaeological excavations confirm that Velez was inhabited in prehistoric times.
The walls of a Phoenician town have been discovered near the mouth of the River Velez on Los Toscanos Estate, and necropolises have been located on El Jardin and La Noria country estates.
Velez must have been an important urban centre during the Roman era, giving refuge to settlers who had abandoned the coast following the fall of the Empire; however, it was during the Moslem occupation of Spain that the town really acquired renown and importance.
In the 13th century, the fortress of Velez, along with Comares and Bentomiz, figured as one of the most important towns in the area were also affected by the major tremor known as the Andalusian Earthquake on Christmas Day 1884, suffering six mortalities and extensive material damage.
A new stimulus, which was to change forever the whole face of Velez-Malaga, the neighbouring dependency of Torre del Mar and the rest of the municipal area, as well as its inhabitants' economic activities and way of life, came in the second half of the 20th century, when the progressive development of tourism, which had begun in 1960s, transformed the town into one of the Mediterranean's leading holiday resorts.
Federico E. Vahey y Alba, Minister of Justice.
Brother Raphael of Velez, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela.
Brother Alonso de Santo Tomas, Bishop of Malaga.
Luis de Rute Ciner, member ofÃÂ the Cortes parliament.
Enrique Sanchez de León, actor.
Juan Breva, flamenco singer.
Maria Zambrano Alarcon, writer and thinker.
Antonio de Velez, painter.
Aurelio Anglada, tenor.
Evaristo Guerra, painter.
The weather today in Vélez-Málaga
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