Saint Jacob’s Church
Most probably built in 1420, as a colony of Benedictine refugees from the Friulian monastery of Saint Peter in Rožac (San Pietro di Rosazzo), the entire settlement will later be named after this abbey. Today very little has been preserved of its original appearance: in 1506 abbot Šimun built or reconstructed the church, according to the inscription above the portal; near the end of the 18th century the church was thorougly renovated, and in 1930 it was considerably expanded. Among its attraction, it houses a replica of one of Mestrović’s relievos.

Since earliest times, when it still stood isolated, the abbey was a site where court trials were held and served as a fairgrounds that on St. Jacob’s Day attracted visitors from the surrounding countryside to dances and sales and purchases of goods, and located in its vicinity were the first burial-ground for the dead of Opatija, whereas in the 19th century this was also the site of the first school in Opatija. The building passed from hand-to-hand of a whole series of religious orders, from the Benedictines and Augustinians to the Paulists and Jesuits. Today, besides prayers and masses, chamber concerts are also held here.
Villa Angiolina
This is the building that certainly marked the beginning of the tourist epoch in the history of opatija. Pending its building in 1844. (auctually a reconstruction of an older building owned by baron Haller von Hallerxtein); Opatija was relatively large settlment with about 120 houses, clustered mainly around plots further away from the sea cost and chiefly oriented towards fishing and seafaing. With the arrival of Iginia Scarpa, a partician from Rijeka, And building of his summer house Angiolina (named after Scarpa’s then already deceased wife, originating from the Sartori family), Opatija opened her doors to a whole line of guests and passengers, among whom it is noteworthy to mention the Austrian empress Mary Ann, the botanist Heinrich Noë, the croatian ban Josip Jelačić and others who in their enthusiasm for the local vegetation and climate spread the fame about Opatija and thus prepared the ground for the future health resort.

After Scarpa and his son Paolo, who as early as 1869 entertained of the idea of establishment a sanatorium, the villa was owned by the Moravian nobleman Chorinsky, the Southern Railways Company (during their proprietorship the villa accommodated the heirs-to-the-throne couple Rudolf and Stephanie and their guest, the Styrian satirist Rosegger), the International Wagon-lit Society, the Health Resort Commission, and others. As the price of the villa rose and taking into account the fact that Iginio Scarpa purchased the entire grounds at the price of 700 florins, in 19190 the villa with the surrounding park full of exotic plants was sold for 2.5 million crowns. In Scrpa’s time the meeting-place of the upper crust of Rijeka, thereafter the site of summertime entertainment on its terraces, during the end of the Austrian period of the seat of the Health Resort Commission with an orchestral pavilion and lively promenade in front of its southern facade , today the villa is foreordained to become the town museum of Opatija, in the state of being developed.
The Croatian Museum of Tourism
The Croatian Museum of Tourism is a specialized national museum institute founded in 2007 that collects, preserves, researches and presents the material and non-material heritage of a touristic content. Among the fundamental tasks of the institution is the collection of data with regard to all relevant sources and potential museum exhibits which are important for the history of Croatian tourism.

Tourism is the coming together of various cultures – and in every such meeting something new is created. What is more, we are invited to research that “new” – through projects, exhibitions, round tables, travelling exhibitions and workshops.

The Museum disposes of two buildings: Villa Angiolina and the “Juraj Šporer” Artistic Pavilion. Villa Angiolina is the oldest villa in Opatija located in central Opatija’s park area and is the headquarters of the Museum. Throughout its history many historical figures have visited or stayed there. The most famous among them is surely the Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, Franz Joseph II. Other members of the Habsburg family also stayed in the villa as well as the Ban of Croatia, Josip Jelačić.

A continuous exhibition of museum and other subjects takes place in one of the most beautiful showrooms in Croatia, at the “Juraj Šporer” Artistic Pavilion, which is close to the parish church of Saint James.
Park Angiolina
The history of the park is known already from the time of the director of Vienna’s Imperial – Royal Society for Park Constructions, Carl Schubert. He said that in the old part of the park domestic and exotic flora was planted between 1845 and 1860. In 1882, when the Society of Southern Railways came to possess the park, Carl Schubert enlarged it and reshaped it. The area in front of the Villa was in Biedermaier style with a small meadow full of various types of flowers. The larger part of the park had romantic concept of park scenery with decorated establishments like the Swiss House, the Music Pavillon and the wooden Emperor’s House (which was removed in 1950s) and everything fitted in designed environment of the „raw nature“. The rude limestone rocks, under the exotic trees from the Caucasus wilderness and California (caucasus pinewood and evergreen mammoth) interwave with the Magnolia tree, date fruits and bananas. The special park attraction is Camelia, the beauty from the Philippines, which became the symbol of Opatija.
The Swiss House
The Swiss House, located in the Angiolina Park, is today one of the three buildings of the Croatian Museum of Tourism where exhibitions present the history of Opatija.

This house was mentioned for the first time in the land registry in 1875 as an outbuilding. In 1884, when it was already the property of Južne željeznice (Southern Railways), an adaptation and extension took place. It was then named Schweizerhaus or Schwizerhütte (Swiss house or Swiss hut) and it has held that name to this day. After renovation in 1884 it became a guest house, and then a music room whilst the Dioničko društvo svratišta i lječilišnih zavoda Opatija (Opatija Inns and Sanatoriums Stock Company) from Vienna built public toilets on its ground floor in 1913. During the Italian administration the facility became a gardener’s house, whilst after the Second World War it continuously hosted the offices of the companies taking care of Opatija's parks.

Even today the building brings a breath of the Alps to Opatija: the characteristic roofing, the wooden parts of the façade, the wooden windows and the wooden flower boxes below the windows.
Sveti Jakov Park and the fountain of Helios and Selene
Opatija's Sveti Jakov Park is located in the centre of the town, in the protected historic part, next to the Church of Sveti Jakov (St. James) and the former monastery. Its location was the nucleus for the development of the town. Apart from the church, the park is surrounded by several other buildings that have played an important role in the history of tourism in Opatija: the Hotel Imperial, Hotel Milenij, Juraj Šporer Arts Pavilion, and Hotel Kvarner. The park has several entrances. At the entrance from Opatija's main street (opposite the Hotel Imperial), there is an information board with the layout of the park and the positions of some of the most important buildings and individual plant species. The park is divided into two parts: the lower part lies right by the sea, on a promontory in front of the Juraj Šporer Arts Pavilion, and the upper part is dominated by the neo-baroque fountain of 1889, the work of the sculptor Hans Ratkausky. The fountain is placed on an octagonal plateau, and in the centre of its marble basin there is a pedestal with sculptures of Helios and Selene, the God of the Sun and Goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology, an allegory of day and night. The fountain today is a popular motif in many photographs and one of the landmarks of Opatija.

The park was originally laid out in a historicist-neo-baroque style, which on the whole has been lost after numerous modifications over the course of time. At first, the park belonged to the second hotel that was built in Opatija, the Kronprinzessin Stephanie (today the Imperial), and from the beginning was open to the public. Today, the park, thanks to its exceptionally well-manicured lawn and variety of colourful flowers and the fantastic harmony between the beautiful nature and surrounding buildings, is one the best-known motifs of Opatija and the winner of several awards for the best park in Croatia. It is home to a variety of plant species, from the indigenous laurel, to pittosporums and palms, tall pines (in the park towards the church), and a particularly impressive Atlas cedar next to the fountain, whose huge branches almost touch the ground of the pathway that leads from the fountain to the sea.
Juraj Šporer Arts Pavilion
The building that the inhabitants and guests of Opatija today mostly know as a venue for various exhibitions, concerts and theatrical performances, was originally a pastry shop. It was built in 1900 for the Quarnero company of Vienna, and expanded in 1908 following the plan of the Opatija architect Sandor Neuhausler, who added the large terrace facing the seafront promenade. At first, the building hosted the Gerbaud pastry shop, and then the Glacier Pavilion with its café and confectionery. At that time, fresh cakes were supplied daily by train from Vienna and Pest. After 1930, the property became an exhibition pavilion (Padiglione delle esposizioni), and has retained this function up to the present day. After 1945, it was renamed the Juraj Šporer Exhibition Pavilion, and later the Juraj Šporer Arts Pavilion. The building was renovated in 1959, 1964, 1984 and 2003. The pavilion was named after Juraj Matija Šporer, a physician who played an important role in the promotion of the idea of Opatija as a seaside health resort. After his early retirement in 1851 (until then he had worked in Ljubljana), Šporer moved to Primorje and continued to work as a physician to the Tobacco factory and the Austrian Lloyd in Rijeka and as a private doctor in Veprinac and Kastav. He soon came to the idea of establishing a sanatorium for poor scrofulous patients in Opatija, and in 1872 founded the Commission for the establishment of a balneary and inhalation sanatorium in Opatija with a group of prominent and wealthy citizens of Rijeka. According to its programme and statute, this should have functioned both as a joint-stock company and as a non-profit charitable institution. Although this initiative eventually failed, it nevertheless played an important role in the development of Opatija, and Šporer is today regarded as one of the initiators of the idea of Opatija as a health resort.
Opatija's promenades
Beside parks, it is Opatija's walking trails and promenades that make this town so unique.

The best known of these is undoubtedly the celebrated Lungomare, a coastal promenade that winds from Volosko to Lovran, and that was built at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, in Opatija's heyday as a fashionable resort. The first part from Volosko to Slatina was completed in 1889, the same year that Opatija was officially declared a climatic health resort. The second part, connecting Opatija to Lovran, was finished in 1911. Walking here past picturesque coves and magnificent villas with splendid gardens offers great relaxation for both mind and body, but also vividly evokes the period when Opatija was establishing itself as a prominent seaside health resort.
Approximately parallel to the Lungomare, but further back from the coast, is the Carmen Sylva forest trail, named after the pen name of Romania's Queen Elizabeth, who found much inspiration for her poems here. This forest path leads us into a different Opatija, through a landscape away from tourist activities, recognisable for its characteristic coastal vegetation and natural forest ambience.

The uphill path to Veprinac follows the ancient route into Opatija's hinterland, leading us even further back in time, to a picturesque medieval town with a unique atmosphere. This trail was renewed in 2010 and offers some magnificent views and places to rest, in addition to interpretation boards providing further information about the local area.

Three walking trails, three stories, three landscapes – but always a unique town: Opatija. Which direction you take, is up to you.
In 2011, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Opatija's best-known footpath – the famous coastal promenade that stretches from Volosko to Lovran. Officially named the Franz Joseph I Promenade, it is still best known as the Lungomare. Dating back to the heyday of Opatija as a health and tourist resort at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Lungomare was built in parts. The northern part, from Volosko to Opatija, was completed in 1889, the same year that Opatija was officially declared a climatic health resort. The southern part, connecting Opatija to Lovran, was finished in 1911, exactly one hundred years ago.

Ever since, the Lungomare has been a favourite walking path for local people and their visitors, a motif of countless photographs and paintings, and an essential part of Opatija's townscape when viewed from the sea.

A walk along this promenade above all means enjoying the fresh sea air and a beautiful coastal landscape dotted with quaint coves, but it is also much more than that. It is also a chance to learn something about local history: for right from its starting point in Volosko by the birthplace of the great scientist Andrija Mohorovičić, past former sanatoriums and guesthouses in the northern part of the promenade, through Angiolina Park and on past Slatina beach further south all the way to the magnificent villas in Lovran, the Lungomare reveals a series of buildings, locations, monuments and memorial plaques that tell the interesting tale of Opatija's past.

In addition to history, interested walkers can also become more acquainted with the richness of the coastal vegetation and the beneficial effects of the local climate. Alongside the Lungomare grow some beautiful specimens of plants and trees that are typical of the local area: the aromatic rock samphire thriving on the rocks right by the sea, evergreen holm oaks, several species of deciduous oaks, fragrant laurel, and evergreen pittosporum… The tops of these trees create a pleasant shade in summer; in bloom their flowers fill the air with fragrant scents.

While walking along the Lungomare, one can admire many magnificent villas – prime examples of Belle Époque architecture, discover monuments commemorating people important in the local history or statues that have become symbolic of Opatija (such as the Girl with the Seagull), rest awhile on a secluded bench in the shade of hundred-year-old trees, remember how people here used to live in the past (the freshwater source in the small port of Dražica), be charmed by quaint coves and beautiful pebble beaches, or enjoy a drink or meal on a terrace right by the sea…

All of that, and much more too – for, even one hundred years after its creation, the Lungomare still inspires us to walk along its beautiful stones and to discover some of its hidden secrets. Secrets which, who knows, might become part of your own Lungomare memories too.
Maiden with Seagull and the Madonna
On the promontory in front of the one-time cemetery a girl of stone extend her arm to a gull. This, however, is a new sculpture, the work of a sculptor Car, and it was erected here in 1956 and turned into one of Opatija’s symbols. Before that, in its place, namely until demolished by a storm, stood the “Madonna del Mare”, the work of sculptor Rathausky from Graz (his also is the fountain “Helios and Selene” in the park between St. Jacob’s Church and hotel Imperial). The “Madonna” was erected to keep vigil over the soul of count Arthur Kesselstadt, who vanished, not far off from that promontory swallowed by the pre-Easter waves in 1891. During that excursion the contess Fries also lost her life, but her son Georg was saved.

Today a gilded variant of the Madonna can be seen in front of Saint Jacob’s church.
Opatija's Market Hall
Towards the end of the 19th century, the flourishing of Opatija as a seaside resort led to a rapidly increasing demand for fresh fruit and vegetables. In step with the construction of new villas and hotels, it was intended that the necessary infrastructure should also be developed. As part of this plan, it was decided that the town needed a new market building; this was because in addition to the fact that the custom of selling food on the streets and in houses had been formally outlawed in 1895, the location that had previously been used as the food market was considered no longer suitable for purpose. The building in front of you was constructed by the company of Francesco Matiassi in 1898, and has served as a covered market ever since. The fish market was added in 1907. This structure gave Opatija a new market hall whose architectural style complemented the new neighbourhood well, and whose size suited the needs of the time. In addition, the new market building provided people from the areas surrounding Opatija with an additional venue from which to sell their products. This tradition has continued right up to the present day: here in Opatija's market you can still buy fruit and vegetables from the market gardens of Opatija's hinterland, as well as honey, cheese and other typical products of the area. Seafood too, fresh from the Adriatic, continues to be sold here. Of course, apart from being the central place to buy foodstuff, Opatija's market is a popular meeting point for local people and a key landmark of the modern town.

The Town of Opatija restored the market hall and the square in front of it in 2010. On completion, this interpretation board was placed here to serve as a small reminder of that aspect of Opatija's history.
Opatija's small harbour
Opatija's small harbour, locally known as Portić, was the starting point for the excursion boats of the traditional boatmen who in the local dialect were referred to as barkajoli. Over the years, as the quality of their services improved, their wooden boats, built in small boatyards in the surrounding coastal villages, became more beautiful and better equipped. Opatija's barkajol was always at the service of his passengers, spoke several foreign languages, and his boat was neat and tidy, with cushions and a small railing for increased comfort during the ride. The barkajoli transported their passengers along the Riviera and sometimes even to nearby islands initially by rowing and later by motorboat. They became a symbol of Opatija's tourism, and their legendary call "Barke faren" a widely known phrase in local speech and the title of a poem by the great Opatija poet, Drago Gervais. Several generations of barkajoli left an indelible mark on the history of tourism in Opatija, and their role is today continued by excursion boats that offer visitors the chance to discover the Opatija Riviera as viewed from the sea. For this reason, several landing sites for these boats have been labelled with a "Taxi Boat" sign here in the Portić and along the Lungomare coastal promenade.
This board and the monument to the barkajol is a small contribution to the memory of this tradition.
The Port
Although the oldest port in Opatija most probably the small bay (“Portić”) in front of St. Jacob’s church, the current port (“Mul”) must also be pretty old, since it was already entered in a map made in 1820 under the name of “Porto Herdt”, which is the distorted Italian word for the domestic term for promontory or headland “RT” (“Zert”). In any case, it’s dimensions were already altered by the builder of villa Angiolina, Iginio Scarpa, who wanted to make it suitable for his yacht, and it got its definitive shape during the interventions and expansions executed at the end of the 19th and beginning of 20th century. Next to the present-day restaurant Galija (ex Padovan, Jedro) was the one-time customs branch-office, and during the Italians today’s Yachting Club was the canoeist club (Club dei canottieri). From the pier, which has for the townspeople of Opatija on several occasions in history been the scene of important events (the dismay caused by the arrival of the Italian navy in December of 1918, the celebration of the capitulation of Italy in September 1943), one has the best view of the entire “North Strand” (Nordstrand), with its former sanatoriums Schalk, Mahler (Horvat) and Lakatos.
Open Air Theatre of Opatija
The Open Air Theatre is situated on the green "peninsula" of the well-known Opatija’s “Angiolina Park”, right by the sea. This unique location and its ambiance created by the combination of stone walls and greenery make it the most spectacular and the most beautiful venue of this kind in the Mediterranean. The main stage area can seat 2500, or alternatively offer 5000 standing places, and with the stage of 21x12 meters it is an ideal spot for all kinds of performances, be it music, play or combined art forms, from the classical opera, operetta, ballet and musicals, across contemporary jazz, pop, and rock concerts to many other social happenings of various kinds. The small stage area can seat 600 and with its stage that measures 10x10 meters, apart from being the "little big stage", it gives the audience a much more intimate feeling with a bigger cohesion and interaction among those present. It is ideal for staging smaller formats of dramatic and musical performances. The location where the Open Air Theatre stands today was originally intended for a much more ambitious project at the beginning of the 20th century - a multipurpose health resort palace (Kurpalast), for which there was a public tender inviting for architectural bids in 1911. The architects Marcel Kammerer, Otto Schönthal and Emil Hoppe drafted a blueprint of a palace with ballrooms for balls and concerts, swimming pool with artificial waves, shops and cafés. Unfortunately, the onset of the World War I disrupted this splendid development of Opatija. After the war was over, by the Treaty of Rapallo from 1920, Istria - with Opatija included - came under the Italian rule and instead of a health resort palace, the Open Air Theatre was built.

It obtained its present form according to the project by the famous Croatian architect, Neven Šegvić, in 1957. Since then, it has been hosting operas, ballets, symphony orchestras, folk-dance performances, concerts and plays.
Before Opatija became a holiday resort, Volosko was the seat of the district, an important trade port and the area's administrative centre. Today Volosko has lost that importance, but not its magical appeal as a picturesque fishing village, an inexhaustible source of inspiration to artists, a haven to those searching for peace in the narrow lanes of the old town, or for a cup of coffee on the waterfront, in the unique atmosphere of the harbour. There is something very special about the view of the sea from Volosko's waterfront: the whole Adriatic seems to open up towards the south from here…

When walking through the lanes in the historic part of the town, you will come across the monument commemorating Volosko as the birthplace of Andrija Mohorovičić, the world-famous scientist who first identified the discontinuity that separates the Earth's crust from the mantle. This layer is called the Mohorovičić Discontinuity, or Moho for short. He was born in the house at the very beginning of the Lungomare coastal promenade.

Today Volosko is also synonymous with fine gastronomy – from typical taverns offering fish and other traditional dishes of the local area, to superb gourmet restaurants that are listed in the most prestigious international restaurant guides – Volosko offers all of that, and much more. It is only a pleasant three-kilometre stroll along the coastal promenade from where you are now standing. Do not miss the chance to pay this enchanting place a visit!
Just like Volosko, Veprinac was also an important centre long before Opatija became a notable tourist resort. Probably built on the foundations of a pre-historic settlement, the origin of the name Veprinac is usually thought to be connected to the Croatian word for butcher's broom, a plant which grows abundantly in the area. The historic heritage of the town includes the Veprinac Law from 1507, a very important document that regulated the customs and legal issues of the time.

The old part of the town can be reached by passing the town gate with three arches, which is located in the former municipal building. On the right, in front of the town gate, is the loggia, and on the left is St. Anne's Chapel with an inscription from 1442. During recent restoration work, the remnants of some interesting frescoes were found on the walls inside the chapel, but these still need to be researched in more detail. The building right by the town gate hosts an ethnological collection presenting items, tools and documents that illustrate how people in this area used to live in the past.

The ascent up stone steps to the entrance to the church yard of St. Mark's parish church; the wonderful views of Kvarner Bay and Opatija on the sea side, and Mount Učka in the hinterland; the church yard where time seems to be standing still – this is Veprinac, the ancient town above Opatija Riviera where at every turn one can feel the nostalgic spirit of the times gone by. Just like the local poet Josip Stanić wrote in his verses – Veprinac seems to almost touch the heavens!
Učka nature park
Učka Nature Park covers an area of 160 km2 along the northern Adriatic coast at the point where Istria meets the continental part of Croatia. It includes Mount Učka and a part of the Ćićarija mountain range.

Due to its relief and the immediate vicinity of the sea, Učka Nature Park is characterised by a specific microclimate and well-developed, lush forest vegetation. The various types of habitats to be found in this area have resulted in an exceptionally varied biological diversity, including some endemic species that are found only here and nowhere else in the world, like the Učka or Tommasini bellflower (Campanula tommasiniana) and a species of cave beetle (Croatodirus bozicevici).

The highest peak of Učka, Vojak (1,401 m), is particularly rich in mountain vegetation and offers magnificent views of the Istrian peninsula, the Bay of Kvarner with the islands, the Velebit mountain range, the mountainous hinterland of Gorski kotar, and the Alps, which makes this peak one of the most beautiful vantage points in all Croatia.

In addition to these particular natural features, Učka is also distinguished for the interesting and varied architectural and cultural heritage resulting from its traditional, rural way of life. Gastronomic specialities such as sweet chestnuts (locally known as maruni), sheep cheese, asparagus or honey brandy continue to delight visitors to this area.