Los Vélez

by Robert Bovington

Los Vélez is situated in the Sierra de Maria in the north of the province of Almería. Within this area is the impressive Parque Natural de María-Los Vélez as well as the twin towns of Vélez Blanco and Vélez Rubio.

Archivo:Castillo Vélez-Blanco.JPG
Castillo Vélez-Blanco – Juan José Rodríguez

Vélez Blanco is a typical pueblo blanco with its whitewashed houses nestling at the foot of a rocky outcrop. At the top of this prominence, a majestic castle looms over the town. It was built in the 16th century on the orders of the first Marquis of Vélez. Unfortunately, only the impressive exterior of the fortress remains – the insides are in New York, on display in the Metropolitan Museum.

There are a number of fine religious buildings in the town. The 16th century parish church of Santiago mixes Gothic, Renaissance and Mudéjar elements. The Church of Magdalena was built on the ruins of an old mosque whilst the Convent of San Luís was also built in the 16th century.

A few miles away is Vélez Rubio. It is a small town with several mansions and a number of religious buildings. One of the churches is quite magnificent – the Baroque Church of La Encarnación which was built in the 18th century. The twin bell-towers dominate the town’s skyline.

Another important building in Vélez Rubio is the former 18th century Royal Hospital, which houses a museum, dedicated to local history.

Despite the historic monuments in the two towns, Los Vélez is better known for its caves, which have UNESCO World Heritage status, particularly the Cueva de los Letreros which is situated between Vélez Blanco and Vélez Rubio. It was here that prehistoric wall paintings were discovered in the 18th century. The cave was declared a National Monument in 1924. One of the paintings, the Indalo, is the symbol of the province of Almería.

Robert Bovington
Roquetas de Mar
December 2011

more blogs by Robert Bovington…

“Photographs of Spain”
“postcards from Spain”
“you couldn’t make it up!”
“a grumpy old man in Spain”
“bits and bobs”
“Spanish Expressions”
“Spanish Art”
“Books About Spain”

About Robert Bovington

Robert Bovington is an English writer of travel books. These include “Spanish Matters” and “Spanish Impressions” Robert Bovington was born in Brighton, East Sussex, the son of Leonard and Audrey Bovington. He is the first-born and has eight siblings – six brothers and two sisters. Having worked for many years in both the telecommunications industry and the teaching profession, Robert wanted to take on new challenges. He and Diane decided to relocate to Spain and, in 2003, the couple moved to Roquetas de Mar in sunny Andalucía. However, lazing on the beach was not Robert's idea of fun - he wanted to explore his new homeland. It didn't stop there! He was so impressed with Spain, its countryside, its historic cities and its culture that it inspired him to write about his experiences. Robert Bovington has been married to Diane for over thirty years. They have no children. However, Robert’s short marriage to Helene resulted in twin daughters Carole and Sheila. The author is also a grandfather and great grandfather. Robert met Diane when both belonged to the Crescent Operatic Society. Music is one of the author’s great passions. At primary school he sang in a choir in a concert of Bach and Handel. Another of his interests is football and for many years he supported Brighton & Hove Albion home and away. His favourite premiership team is Arsenal. Other interests include information technology, writing and ten-pin bowling.
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