Escalante, Silvestre Vélez de

Escalante, Silvestre Vélez de

Escalante, Silvestre Vélez de, fl. 1769-79, Spanish explorer in the American Southwest and Far West, a Franciscan missionary. He was in charge of Pueblo missions in present New Mexico and led the expedition that hoped to establish overland communications with Monterey in Alta California. A preliminary journey in 1775 took him to the Hopi towns in N Arizona, and in 1776 he led an expedition from Santa Fe that crossed land that is now Colorado and part of Utah, reaching Utah Lake—the first white men known to have seen the Utah country. Mountain snows in the Sierra Nevada prevented him from going on to California, and with great hardship the party returned to Santa Fe. Escalante kept a singularly accurate journal, which was signed also by his associate and superior, Francisco Atanasio Domínguez.

See H. Bolton, ed., Pageant in the Wilderness (1951).

Vélez-Málaga is a municipality and the capital of the Axarquía district in the province of Málaga, in the Spanish autonomous community of Andalucía. Locally it is referred to as Vélez. The municipality forms part of the Costa del Sol region.

City and municipality

Vélez-Malaga itself is a market city, 4 km inland from Torre del Mar but unlike the coastal resort not dominated by the tourist industry. Notable sites include the remains of the castle on the hill above the town, the churches of Santa María la Mayor, Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, and San Juan Bautista, the childhood home of Don Miguel de Cervantes, and the sixteenth century Palacio del Marqués de Beniel.

The municipality includes a significant area of the surrounding countryside and other settlements, including Torre del Mar itself. The area of the entire municipality is 156.36 km², and its population at the 2002 census was 57,458; 28,462 males and 28,995 females, however population is quickly growing.

The transportation infrastructure is currently being expanded to deal with the extensive growth. The Tren runs approximately every half hour from Velez to Torre del Mar, which has many shops and restaurants lacking in Velez. Along The Tren are the state-of-the-art Velez hospital and a major shoping mall, El Ingenio. The bus terminal is also being expanded, with service through Torre, through María Zambrano all the way to the Malaga Airport. Buses and trains to the larger cities of Spain are also available from Velez through the transportation infrastructure.


The municipality's boundaries include some 25 km of coastline. The Vélez River is the significant watercourse.

Location and communication

Neighbouring municipalities are:

The city also includes an enclave, Lagos, which is bordered to the north by Sayalonga, to the east by Torrox, to the south by the Mediterranean, and to the west by Algarrobo.

Vélez-Málaga has an airport, (Axarquía airport), and a fishing port. The Autovía del Mediterráneo crosses through the middle of its territory, with a junction to the carretera nacional (national highway) 340.


Almayate, Benajarafe, Cajiz, Caleta de Vélez, Chilches, El Capitán, Lagos, Los Puertas, Los Pepones, Mezquitilla, Trapiche, Triana, Torre del Mar y Valle-Niza.

Urban districts

Barrio del Pilar, La Villa, Pueblo Nuevo de la Axarquía "Carabanchel", La Gloria, Capuchinos, Barrio Barcelona, Carretera de Arenas, Camino de Algarrobo, Camino viejo de Málaga, San Francisco.


The most important event of the year is the Royal San Miguel festival, held at the end of September and the beginning of October each year. Other festivals celebrated include the Veladilla el Carmen, Santiago (St James) and Santa Ana. There is also a Holy Week procession, one of the most notable in Andalucía.

Vélez-Málaga is one of the last places in Europe where public cockfighting is conducted.

The town came under the Spanish crown, after Moorish rule, in 1487.


Vélez is currently growning rapidly, with expatriates and immigrants from other parts of Spain appearing in every part of the municipality. Ethnic minority groups include Gypsies, a small Chinese community, Islamic groups especially Moroccans, sub-Saharan Africans, and expatriates from other European Union countries especially Germany and the United Kingdom. In 2003 there were 2,743 residents who did not have Spanish nationality.

Since 1990 there has been a movement, with its own political party, to separate Torre del Mar from Vélez.

Notable people coming from Vélez-Málaga

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