Opatija is called the “pearl of the Adriatic“, and it is the cradle of Croatian tourism. Its history leaves us breathless. The story of Opatija is destined to be connected with St. Jacob’s church (protector of pilgrims and travelers) and its monastery from the 15th century, after which the town got its name:
In the bull of Pope Nicholas V, from 1453, it is mentioned “Abbati sancti Jacobi ad Palum – Abbey of St. Jacob at the pillar”.
Located on the edge of the Mediterranean, on the shores, of the Kvarner Bay and on the slopes of the Učka Mountains, which are treasured down to the sea, it is within easy reach of capitals of Central and SEE Europe
The first-holiday house in Opatija, the Villa Angiolina, was built by Iginio Scarpa back in 1844. This year is now officially considered as the beginning of tourism in the town. The Villa Angiolina played host to many famous historical figures, such as Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary, Empress Maria Anna, and the Croatian Ban Josip Jelačić.
Today, you can learn more about Opatija’s interesting history in the Croatian Museum of Tourism, which has three exhibition venues: the Swiss House, Villa Angiolina, and Juraj Šporer Art Pavilion, where you can acquaint yourself with the town’s intriguing history.