The Spanish coast preserves many watchtowers as an important cultural heritage. They testify the insecurity of this maritime border in different historical periods, especially during the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, when it was attacked regularly by what has come to be known as Berber piracy.
The territory of Vélez-Málaga was not alien to this process and, after the Castilian conquest of the Axarquía region in the late fifteenth century, the western border between the Christian and the Islamic kingdoms of the western Mediterranean moved to the southeaster coast of the Iberian Peninsula.
The municipal district of Vélez-Málaga has an important architectural and archaeological heritage from different origins, including its defensive structures. They belong to a broader military system in the territory that consisted of coastal and inland watchtowers, farmstead towers, fortified enclosures in addition to the castle and the urban walls of Vélez-Málaga.
This paper presents the first data obtained from the diagnosis of this heritage in the frame of the programme of conservation of the defensive architecture from the municipality of Vélez-Málaga.