The church of St. Bartholomew.
Since 1236, reflecting the history of Sóller.
King James I of Aragon gave away a section of Sóller to the religios dignitary Ferrer de Sant Marti, from Catalonia, as payment for his aid during the conquest of Mallorca. He then erected a small church, in 1236, as a thanksgiving act. In 1248, Pope Innocent IV conceded this temple the apostolic protection and dedicated it to the Virgin Mary and Saint Bartholomew.
After various extensions and reforms, the town was left with a Romanesque-Gothic church from 1492, many parts of which are still visible today. In 1688 this structure was in need of repair and the town required a bigger church, and so the works started for the reform of the temple following the then predominant Baroque style. These works lasted till 1831 and their result can be viewed mainly in the interior of the building.
At the bginning of the 20th Century, many Sóller residents emigrated to America and Continental Europe, stirred by their enterprising spirit and by local economic hardship. Many returned having made small fortunes and bringing back with them new ideas and a more open mentality. Thanks to them, a new building boom occured. Some of the new houses were built in the traditional Marllorquin style, some showed an American Colonial influence, and others, which became predominant, followed the Art Nouveau style.
Sebastià Maimó, then Rector of the Sóller Parish, was a great intellectual and a man of his time. The main façade of the church had to be repaired and he decided to give the building a new Art Nouveau front. He gave the project to the architect Joan Rubió, a disciple of Antoni Gaudi. The bishop of Mallorca, Pere Joan Campins, laid the first stone on the 24th July 1904. The façade was built with sandstone and was topped with a gallery and two side towers. A large central round window made in arcelona, presides the façade, with images of Mary and the Martyrs. The atrium is formed by three pointed archers, flanked by the statues of two Angels, made by the renowned sculptor Joan Alcover, from Palma. Also his statue of Sint Bartholomew, made with Santanyi stone, sited on a pedestal between the two main entrances.
The façade and the iron work of the Banc de Sóller building, to the side of the church, were also designed by the architect Joan Rubió. The bank was inaugurated in 1912 and was bought by the Banco Hispano Americano in 1943.