The Spirit of Solvang

A History of the Danish Capital of America

By Anne Dittmer and Esther Jacobsen Bates

Visitors to Solvang today are welcomed by a picturesque downtown of half-timber Old World-style buildings and windmills. Yet the story behind these facades is a surprising one that dates back more than a century, when the Danish colony was established as the home for a traditional folk school that would educate young adults while maintaining the heritage, culture, and traditions of Denmark.

The once-remote town developed into a close-knit and thriving community with farms and businesses that served a growing population. Solvang persisted through wars and economic downturns and eventually transformed itself into a lively destination for visitors. The Spirit of Solvang is a fascinating and carefully researched history of this Danish community in California, its memorable events, notable personages, and colorful celebrations—all brought to life with  historic photographs, maps, and contemporary pictures of the activities and lifestyle in the Santa Ynez Valley.

  • 220 pages
  • Hardcover
  • 9 x 10 inches
  • Four-color throughout
  • ISBN 978-0-996-86355-1
  • Published 2020
  • $39.95