Panorama of Sóller from the north
|Autonomous community||Balearic Islands|
|Comarca||Serra de Tramuntana|
|Judicial district||Palma de Mallorca|
|• Alcalde||Carlos Simarro Vicens (PP)|
|• Total||42.80 km2 (16.53 sq mi)|
|Elevation||59 m (194 ft)|
|• Density||330/km2 (850/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Official language(s)||Catalan and Spanish|
Sóller (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈsoʎə]) is a town and municipality near the north west coast of Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands of Spain. The town is some 3 km inland from the Port de Sóller, in a large, bowl-shaped valley that also includes the village of Fornalutx and, and the hamlets of Biniaraix and Binibassi. The combined population is around 14,000. A famous tram, the Tranvía de Sóller operates in the town, linking Sóller to the Port de Sóller.
Sóller is linked by the historic railway, the Ferrocarril de Sóller, and by a highway with a tunnel, to the Majorcan capital of Palma. The Ferrocaril was built on the profits from the orange and lemon trade and completed in 1911. The Andratx-Pollença highway also runs through the valley. The present-day economy is based mainly on tourism and the expenditure of foreign residents, complementary to the agricultural economy based around citrus and olive groves. Soller is unique compared to towns on the rest of the island due to its geographical isolation, being surrounded by the Tramuntana mountain range. This isolation from all other major towns on the island, made it easier to trade with French merchants arriving by sea.
The focus of the town is the Plaça Constitució which is surrounded by cafés and has plane trees and a fountain in its centre. The tram passes through the Plaça on its way to and from the main station which has been restored to incorporate a museum of Picasso and Joan Miró. The church of Sant Bartomeu (Saint Bartholomew) facing the east side of the Plaça is flanked by the ajuntament (town hall) and the Banco de Sóller, a remarkable 1912 Modernista building with defining ironwork, by the Catalan architect Joan Rubió i Bellver, a follower of Antoni Gaudí. The bank's organisation was founded in 1889 with the money of emigrants who returned prosperous to Sóller. On the other hand, the church can clearly be seen standing out from the canopy of the town from other parts of the Vall de Sóller (the surrounding valley). The original building dates from some time before 1236. The current main interior structure is now largely baroque (1688–1733).
The campanar (belltower) blends in well with its neo-gothic design. The remarkable façade is a 1904 construction, also by Joan Rubió. The old street plan is of Islamic origin and lined with historic houses of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. The town has a covered market and is bisected by a fast flowing river with a number of bridges. Sóller is also notable for the houses built in the early twentieth century by emigrants who returned wealthy to the town, particularly those on the Gran Via which reflect the fin de siècle Art Nouveau styles of France.
The renowned Jardí Botanic (botanical garden) is on the outskirts of the town and is laid out with the plants of the Balearics and the Mediterranean islands. The Modernista mansion in the garden houses El Museu Balear de Ciències Naturals (The Museum of Balearic Natural Sciences).
Since 1980, Sóller has hosted a week-long international folklore festival every May.
map of the Sóller Tramway
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sóller.|
- Sóller Tourist Guide
- Veu de Sóller (local weekly newspaper), in Catalan
- Setmanari Sóller (local newspaper), in Catalan.
- Jardín Botánico (botanical garden), in Catalan and Spanish
- Museu de Ciencias Naturales
- Ajuntament de Sóller (Townhall of Sóller), in English