Solvang Culture

Solvang Culture

Solvang was named by Sunset Magazine as one of the Ten Most Beautiful Small Towns in the Western United States. The copper clad and tile roofs, Danish architecture, and unified theme, gives a quaintness to the city and creates a consistently attractive atmosphere. Pretty much everything goes back to the Old Country of the original Danish pioneers. This is the Denmark of the nineteenth century. Nearly everything in town has the stamp of Danish culture and history. Solvang adheres solidly to the traditions of its founders.

Solvang’s main museum, the Elverhoj, is a repository for Danish art. Formally the private home of two of Solvang’s foremost artists, husband and wife, Viggo Brandt -Erichsen and Maria Mott, the Elverhoj is one of the few museums outside of Denmark dedicated to Danish history, art and culture.

The Hans Christian Andersen Museum is devoted to the world famous author of 160 fairy tales, translated into over 100 languages, including the Little Mermaid, the Emperor’s New Clothes, the Princess and the Pea, and the Ugly Duckling. The little museum is on the second floor of the Book Loft at 1680 Mission Drive. The penniless boy from Odense, Denmark became one of the few writers to be read everywhere. First and early editions of Andersen’s works as well as original letters and photographs are part of the museum exhibits.

Another facet of the Santa Ynez Valley’s cultural life is the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts. The PCPA is a professional conservatory theater group which stages a wide variety of open air productions from June through October in the Solvang Festival Theater. The Central Coast’s only resident professional theater company was started in 1964. Not only does PCPA stage year round productions, it is also a training school for actors and theater technicians. PCPA performs in Santa Maria at the Marian Theater and in the Santa Ynez Valley at the Solvang Festival Theater. The incredible array of productions have included Julius Caesar, Peter Pan, Macbeth, West Side Story, Turn of the Screw, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet and Hairspray. Robin Williams, Kelly McGillis and Kathy Bates are past graduates of PCPA Theaterfest. (805) 922-8133

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