Solvang simply stole my heart with its European-style windmills, flower-lined streets and Danish architecture. The first time I visited the village I remember feeling like I was walking in one of Hans Christian Andersen’s stories. Half timbered buildings, horse-drawn wagons, storks on the rooftops, clogs and Danish bonnets in the windows, everything was reminiscent of the old Danish countryside.
The Birth of a Danish Town
Just a short 40-minute drive from Santa Barbara, the little town of Solvang was the dream of three Danish immigrants: Reverend Benedict Nordentoft, Reverend J. M. Gregersen, and Professor P. P. Hornsyld, who planned to established here a Danish community. In 1911 they bought 10,000 acres of land next to the beautiful Santa Inés Mission in Santa Barbara County, California. They named the new settlement ‘Solvang,’ which in Danish means sunny field. The first settlers were almost all Danish farmers from California, the Midwest and Denmark. The community began growing very fast. Continue Reading