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Although relatively small by size, Selva forms part of a municipality that also includes Melis, Caimari and Moscari. Even when the wider municipality is taken into account, Selva does not appear to be much bigger in size, with an overall population of 3370 as of 2008.
Of this number, the actual town of Selva contributes 1921 thereby representative of just over half the total population count.
In terms of demographics, Selvas size is nothing more than modest and the same trend holds true when considered in terms of land area.
With a reading of just 48.71 km2, this gives a population density of 69.18 persons per km2, compared to national statistics of 3640 and 217 respectively.
Clearly it is easy to lose sight of, perhaps even discount this small town as anything of any significance, and it is therefore not surprising that Selva remains overlooked by major tour guide operators.
However, whilst failing to conform to the densely populated, neon lit regions to the south of the island, this small town offers an abundance of local character that rural Mallorca is all about.
If a holiday that guarantees relaxation amongst the seclusion of Mallorca’s rugged interior sounds appealing, then Selva may well be a destination worth your consideration.
For those wishing to take up the latter option, you will need head along the MA-19 towards Palma, but rather then entering the city, you will require the "semi ring road" known as the MA-20 which arcs around it. You will then need to take the MA-13 and head for Inca. Exit the motorway at Junction 25 and get on to the MA-13A which will take you into the centre of Inca.
The final stage of the journey will require you to take the MA-2130 which will head straight into Selva. Unlike many rural settlements hidden away in the islands interior, much of the journey is completed along motorways, and nearly all along main highways thus saving much time and confusion.
Upon arrival, you may well notice the unique character of the town. Quite obvious is the historic importance of several notable buildings which very often lead the visitor to develop a sense of curiosity and admiration concerning Selvas long held customs. Although not entirely unique, life here resembles Mallorcan civilisation more akin to the pre tourist era.
You will soon find that the islands history to be long and varied. During Arab times, Selva was known as "Xilvar". It appears that only after the Catalan conquest did the towns present name come into effect. As was common during the change of such civilisation, the towns church was one of the earliest buildings dating back to 1248 and it is here where much of the early developments occurred.
It is thought that sometime around 1285, local inhabitants met in the church to pay homage to Alfonso the third, whom had taken the island along with the throne from King Juame the second. However, once the latter’s reign had been re-established around the year 1300, Selva was declared a town. This gave way to the building of new church sometime during the early 14th Century although remains of the predecessor can still be seen.
This was later expanded around 1600 where the apse was extended and steps were added at the front of the facade. The fire of 1855 was responsible for the churches partial destruction, and the modifications that were to follow were ultimately responsible for giving the building its look as of today.
According to a range of sources, Selva shares some of its traditions with the larger, nearby city of Inca. These include participations in the 15th Century rebellions of the people and the war of the Germanies in 1521. As is typical of many rural settlements, Selva has also suffered hardship too, namely from bandit incursions and plagues.
Although no longer subjected to such varied and contrasting times, the traditions of Selva are left in no doubt. This has given rise to a population, known locally as Selvatgins that are proud of their past and with whom such customs continue to live on.
Selva enjoys a number of unique attractions, many of which are to be found in local fiestas. These celebrations offer the visitor a unique insight into local customs whilst more attractions occurring with greater frequency are to be found within the pleasantries of the nearby surrounding countryside. These however will hopefully be discussed in greater detail in the "Attractions" pages.
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