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Soller

 

History

Prehistoric Times

Remains of the Talaiotic Period that date back to between 5200 BC and 2700 AD have been found in Moleta.

Antique History 3500 BC - 900 AD

In the Museum of Mallorca there are three bronze statues which were found in the Roca Roja (IV-III centuries BC.) of a God of war from Balearic prehistoric times.

The Middle Ages (IV - XV)

The 11th of May of the year 1561, a coalition of Algerian corsairs led by Otxali and Iusuf-Arrais formed a very strong squadron with twenty two galleons to attack Mallorca. This armada, before arriving to Mallorca, stopped off in Ibiza to obtain water. This forewarned the Mallorcans that the attack would start in Sóller, due to this the Capitán General of Mallorca, Guillem de Rocafull, sent a warning to the captain in Sóller, Joan Angelats, and to Bunyola, Santa María and Alaró so that they could help them.

The Mallorcans set out and headed towards the 'Campo de la Oca', in direction towards the Port of Sóller. About 1.600 corsairs landed ashore without the guards on land realizing. The invaders divided into two groups: while one went directly towards the port, the other took a roundabout course and attacked Sóller from the north, obtaining a good booty. The people from Sòller, those that had gone towards the port, they found themselves in the middle of two fires but decided in favour of attacking the corsair group of the port. Once they had regained hold of the port, they decided to wait for the second group to return loaded with the booty, women and children who they intended to use for slavery.

When the pirates realized they were in danger they killed many of the prisoners, for which they were pursued by the Mallorcans until they reached the cliffs. Two events must be mentioned: the brave women of Can Tamany that deceived and got rid of the pirates that attacked their house: and a group of robbers that had done a lot of damage to the Saracen lines, for which they were given the King's pardon (Felipe II). These events are remembered every year in the festivities of May. Due to the actions of these pirates, as from the XVI century, the tower called Torre Picada and the Castle of the port of Soller were built. Part of the town was also fortified, although of this work there only remains a piece of wall next to the parish church.

Geography

It consists of five main regions of population, which are: Sóller, Puerto de Sóller, L'horta, Biniaraix, Estiradors, Argiles and s'Alqueria des Comte. The boundary limits are the municipalities of Bunyola, Deyá, Fornalutx and Escorca.


Outstanding Features

The building of the Banco de Sóller. Is one of the most emblematic of the city. Of a modernist style and built in 1889, work by José Rubio, it is situated in the Plaza de España which is very central and where its most outstanding facade, is just next to the church of San Bartolomé. It is remarkable for its roof structure, its main entrance with its arch and for its forged-iron windows. At the moment it is the head office of a bank.

Church of San Bartolomé. The oldest church of Sóller was doted in the year 1236 with the 'Paborde de Tarragona Ferrer de sant Marti', appearing in the Papel Bull of the Pope Inocencio IV under the appellation of the santa Maria and san Bartomeu. This temple, of a romantic Gothic tradition according to J.A. Morell González, was put to repair as from the year 1370 because of its bad condition and possibility of becoming a ruin. According to the historian Josep Rul.Lan, at the end of this century, this primitive construction was substituted for another, and the building of it ran into the following century. During the whole of the XVI century various interventions were made to strengthen the structural problems it had, as well as the building of the present sacristy with vault. The present building was built during the XVII and XVIII centuries.

Economy

At present, the main economic means of living is tourism, although the cultivation of vegetables and citric fruits (the oranges grown in Sóller are famous all over the island) and olives are still maintained. 

Transport

There is a railway station which connects Sóller with Palma de Mallorca, with a half way stop in Son Sardina and Bunyola. It is an electric type, which has conserved the same route and form (locomotors, carriages and railway lines, etc.) since the beginning of the XX century. There is also a tram between Sóller and the Puerto de Sóller.

To reach the city of Sóller a tunnel was built (a fare is charged for its use) in order to avoid the mountain route of the old road, recently another tunnel has been built that connects Sóller with the Puerto de Sóller so as to convert the first line of the port into a pedestrian area.

 

Golf Courses

The nearest installations to Palmanyola for playing the noble sport of golf are those of Golf Son Termens.

Special Events

The "Firó" is the most important and well-known festivity of Sóller, it serves as a reminder of the pirate raid that Sóller underwent on the 11th of May of the year 1561. It consisted of four battles (2 in the Port, 1 in the allotment area and 1 in the square of the town).

Another strong point in the culture is the international folkloric festival Sa Mostra which, was founded by the group Aires Sollerics in 1980, it gets together groups from all over the world for a week in the month of July. This festival lasts for seven days, during which the groups perform for the public, as well as producing certain 'exchanges' with the aim of widening the cultural knowledge of those attending. The festival is framed within the non-profit organization CIOFF.

In August the festivity of San Bartolomé is celebrated which is dedicated to the patron saint of the town. There is a spectacle with fire called correfoc in which Hell takes over the Earth. The 'devils' of the local group called Esclatabutzes invade the Plaza de la Constitución of the town after an introductory spectacle. The festivity ends with the 'correaigua' where the local firemen and members of the group refresh those present with a spray of water, all that they desire.

 

Impressions

It is not possible to understand this city without first understanding its isolation from the rest of the island. The abrupt mountain range in this zone, of up to 1.100 metres in height, is the natural barrier with practically isolates Sóller from Palma and from the rest of the Mallorcan lands and towns.

Until the XIX century, the communication with Palma was a long, torturous and steep journey which animals that pull wagons had to suffer with difficulty and it was a journey that took a few days travelling. The traffic of merchandise with the rest of the island for this reason was practically inexistent.

The main means of communication of Sóller with the rest of the island was its port. It was by sea that Sóller began to have a commercial relationship with France and Catalonia and this relationship has left traces which still live on in its architecture, its customs and way of speaking, creating certain identity signs different from the rest of the island.

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