The Monastery of the Capelleta
Santa MariaD’Olivar
28th June 2014
This is the week of discovery of this place accessed from the main road between Soller and Lluch.  The sign to the right on the road says ‘Santa Maria D’Olivar’ and a cobbled road leads to a most unlikely car park.  An ecclesiastical building with a bell tower is hidden in the mountainside and it’s not surprising to discover that in the past this was a Monastery.

Two years ago the last remaining priest that had worked from there retired and since then the area has taken on the look of a museum.  The grounds and building have been maintained by the Parish of Soller and the local congregation were not sure if it would ever come back to religious life.
The Church of the Capelleta is here and it is just wonderful.  A roughly hewn church that looks as though local people put it together with their bare hands.  An interior that is so cave like and gothic has become ‘must see’ of the area. 
The whole place is one of pilgrimage with areas to sit and think amongst the beauty of the Tramuntana.  The fact that it has a 20th century car park once you have negotiated the cobbles is a serious bonus.
This week the history of the area has just changed with a service of inauguration.  The Capelleta is coming back to life with the arrival of two nuns Mary Magdalene and Carmen Bernasser.  They were welcomed by the parish and given the task of looking after the Chapel and welcoming visitors.  They will also have a pastoral and training role.
The use of the Capelleta as a wedding venue is very exciting – many weddings were conducted there in the past and now it looks as though this is going to be one of the most sought after wedding venues on the Island.  There simply isn’t another place like it on Mallorca.
The walk to the Capelleta from Soller is one that local families know well.  The route is well trodden and many a picnic has been eaten in those grounds.  The arrival of the Nuns and the development of the place as a retreat and training centre will introduce another generation to its beauty.

The photograph reproduced from the Veu de Soller shows the inaugural service for the Nuns.   The interior photograph of the Capelleta was taken by Mimi Dean

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