Solca (German: Solka; Polish: Solka; Hungarian: Szolka) is a town in Suceava County, north-eastern Romania. It is situated in the historical region of Bukovina. Solca is the smallest town in the county and the third smallest town in Romania, with a population of 2,143 inhabitants, according to the 2011 census. Its name is derived from that of the river flowing through it, in turn derived from Slavic sol ("salt") – in reference to the area's salty springs. Solca is known for its high quality air, for being a former spa and for the beer that was manufactured here.
Tomşa Vodă Street, downtown Solca
|• Mayor||Valeruț Țăranu-Hofnăr (Democratic Liberal Party)|
|• Total||64.63 km2 (24.95 sq mi)|
|Elevation||509 m (1,670 ft)|
|• Density||33/km2 (90/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
Solca is located in the central-eastern part of Suceava County, at the foot of the eastern part of Obcina Mare Mountains, in Solca-Cacica Depression. The town is situated at the border of Suceava Plateau and the Eastern Carpathians, at an average altitude of 522 metres. Solca River crosses the town. Solca is a place known for the beauty of the natural landscape and the high quality of its air.
Solca borders with the following communes: Marginea (in north-west), Arbore (in north and north-east), Poieni-Solca (in south and south-east), Cacica (in south) and Mănăstirea Humorului (in west). The town is situated at a distance of 23 km from the city of Rădăuți, 32 km from the town of Gura Humorului, 48 km from the city of Suceava (the county seat) and 464 km from Bucharest.
The town is celebrated for its monumental Romanian Orthodox church, the former Sts. Peter and Paul's Monastery (1613–1623), also knowns as Solca Monastery, built by Voievod (Ruling Prince) Ștefan Tomșa II of Moldavia and closed by the Habsburgs in 1785, and a beer factory that ranks among the oldest in the country (1810). Salt springs are located in the northern forested area. Solca is also relatively close to the Cacica salt mine and the Arbore church.
In Solca there is a Romanian traditional house which dates from the 17th century. This house was transformed in museum in 1971. Other points of interest are the motel (known as Hanul Solca), the sanatorium with the summer garden, the central park, Tomşa Vodă High School, the Roman Catholic Church (which dates from 1868) and Pietrele Muierilor (a monument of nature located near the town).
Despite the fact it has the status of a town, Solca has a rural aspect in many areas of its. During the Communist regime, there were built around 10 apartment blocks along the two main roads that cross the town: Tomșa Vodă Street and Republicii Street. Solca isn't connected to the Romanian national railway system.
The settlement of Solca was first mentioned in a document issued by Moldavian Prince Alexandru cel Bun on January 15, 1418. On March 7, 1502, the boyar Luca Arbore bought the village from the grandchildren of Cârstea Horaeț and Şandru Gherman. Subsequently, Metropolitan Gheorghe Movilă offers this village to the Sucevița Monastery.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the village is bought by the Moldavian Prince Ştefan Tomşa II (1611–1615, 1621–1623) and he builds here a monastery (known as Sts. Peter and Paul's Monastery or Solca Monastery). In the following centuries, Solca becomes a market town for the surrounding area.
In 1775, together with the rest of Bukovina, Solca becomes part of the Habsburg Monarchy, and is eventually part of Austria-Hungary. During this period, many German, Polish and Jewish families establish here. Solca becomes a well known summer resort, its renowned fresh air helping the settlement to develop during the following century. In 1810, one of the oldest beer factories in Romania opens in Solca. The Solca Beer becomes the main symbol of this locality.
At the initiative of doctors Eduard Beilich (1845) and Hermann Poras (1876) a sanatorium for lung diseases is opened, with an additional summer garden, so the tourism industry increases and the settlement becomes a well known spa of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
During World War I, Solca is the scene of Eastern Front battles between the armies of Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire. After 1918, Solca (along with the rest of Bukovina) becomes part of Kingdom of Romania and remains a seeking resort, especially for those with lung diseases. Solca was officially declared a town in 1926.
After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, Solca has a period of regression. The sanatorium is turned in a chronic diseases hospital and eventually, in 2011, in an asylum for the aged. The beer factory and the summer garden are abolished, the high school decreases in prestige and quality of teaching. Today, Solca isn't a resort anymore and the main occupation of its inhabitants is agriculture.
|Source: Census data|
According to the 2011 census data, 2,188 inhabitants live in Solca, a decrease from the figure recorded at the 2002 census, when the town had a population of 4,456 inhabitants. The main cause of the drastic population decline is that Poieni-Solca, the village administered by Solca, was split from the town in March 2007 and became a commune.
- Ilie E. Torouțiu (1888–1953) – literary historian, academician
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