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Bay of Puerto de Soller and the Puig Major, Majorca

Europe, Spain, Soller
 

Location Information:

Sóller is a town and municipality near the north west coast of Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands of Spain. The town is some 3km inland, from the Port de Sóller, in a large, bowl-shaped valley that also includes the village of Fornalutx and the hamlets of Biniaraix and Binibassi. The combined population is around 13,000. A famous tramway, the Orange Express links Sóller to Port de Sóller.

Sóller is linked by the historic railway, the Ferrocarril de Sóller, and by a highway with a toll tunnel, to the Majorcan capital of Palma. The Andratx-Pollença highway also runs through the valley. The Ferrocaril was completed in 1911 after work began on the profits of the orange and lemon trade.

The present-day economy is based mainly on tourism and foreign residents, complementary to the agricultural economy based around citrus and olive groves, which has, in recent years, suffered from low prices. 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 to Sóller prosperous. 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, lined with historic houses of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. The town is bisected by a fast flowing river with a number of bridges and has a covered market. 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.

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