The Serra de Tramuntana mountain range and its villages are some of the most beautiful places Mallorca has to offer to its visitors. Soller is among their villages, its valley is famous for its orange groves and ancient olive trees terraces. Puerto de Soller is a small beachside and the fisher-men’s part of the village just located a few kilometres from Soller. It’s not like most of the beach resorts or towns in Mallorca and both, Sóller and Puerto de Sóller, are beautiful places with plenty of things to do.
The maritime museum and the berber pirates
At the top of a hill from Puerto de Sóller we find the Museo de la Mar (Maritime Museum), located inside the Ermita Santa Catalina (a great little church). Here visitors can learn the history about the role of fishing in the village, the most important economic activity in Soller before tourism, thanks to its natural port. The building where the museum is located was rebuilt in 1542, after the attacks of the berber pirates. Sóller during the XVI century, suffered one of the worst periods in its history because of berber prates attacks. All the towers (the so-called ‘Atalayas’) alongside the coast of the island were built on the highest points to guard its population.
Soller and the importance of the sea
The aim of the museum is the promotion of the relevant role of the sea for the inhabitants of Soller. For many centuries the sea was the open door to the rest of the world. Fishing and commerce were the main activities, allowing the contact with other cultures. In fact, Soller was founded by Catalans from France many centuries ago and is well-know the very important cultural and commercial connection between Soller and the south of France, even more than with the rest of the island. The communication was always easier by the sea than over the steep mountains of The Serra de Tramuntana. This close relationship between the inhabitants of Sóller and the sea has influenced its way of life, its history and culture.
Emigration, fishing and commerce in the Maritime Museum
The visitor can learn a lot about the emigration, fishing and commerce, the main topics covered in the Maritim Museum. Several spaces like an audiovisual room with luminous and visual installations sound and mirrors, with information in plenty of languages, complete a very recommended experience for everybody. Furthermore it’s the perfect place to enjoy the views and particularly the dance between the waves and the rocks of the coast. Also visitors can take one of the boats which are operating from Puerto de Sóller to Sa Calobra to enjoy the magic of the sea here, other fascinating place on the Mallorca’s North West coastline.