Solvang

Solvang Founders

1911 photograph of Mads Frese (land agent) and founders Professor P.P. Hornsyld, Reverend Benedict Nordentoft, and Reverend J. M. Gregersen. (Courtesy of Solvang’s Elverhoj Museum of History and Art)

Founded in 1911, the city of Solvang was the brainchild of three Danish immigrants who wanted to establish a Danish community in the New World, with a Danish folk school as its centerpiece.  They purchased 10,000 acres in the Santa Ynez Valley of California, then recruited primarily Danes from Denmark, the Midwest, and California to settle the little town. Chiefly agriculturally oriented, the Danes retained much of their customary clothing and culinary traditions, including baking.

 

Early Solvang Resident 'Rock' Sorensen

Early Solvang resident “Rock” Sorensen with his roadster, 1918. (Courtesy of Solvang’s Elverhoj Museum of History and Art)

 

Solvang means Sunny Fields in Danish, and a short drive through the valley will lead you to quickly conclude that it was aptly named.  While there are many things to do in Solvang and the surrounding area: wine tasting; golfing; visiting the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art; hiking; cycling; mountain biking; and cruising the many shops, we hope you’ll fit a tasty treat at The Solvang Bakery into your schedule.  Come sample our famous Almond Butter Ring, also known as Seven Sisters Cake.  It was named after the Seven Sisters star cluster (Pleiades) that appears in the constellation of Taurus.  As seafaring folk, navigation by the stars was critical to the Danes of yore, and so was satisfying their hunger after a long voyage.  The original recipe for Seven Sisters Cake dates to 1700, and we like to think it tastes even better today.