Opatija – find out what the first hotels on the Adriatic looked like


Opatija – find out what the first hotels on the Adriatic looked likeThe exhibition named «The first hotels on the Adriatic » was recently opened in the Croatian Museum of Tourism in Valla Angiolina in Opatija, featuring photographs of hotel buildings constructed on the Croatian side of the Adriatic at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century as well as other accompanying exhibits. It is precisely in the construction of the hotel buildings that the development of tourism economy can be most obviously seen in Croatia of that time. Health tourism started to develop at the end of the 19th century along the coastline and at the same time the popularity of beach tourism also rose. It is at this time that the grand hotels, surrounded by nurtured parks were built.


Many regions on the Adriatic have already marked 120 or more years of organized tourism and these coastal hotels, which were the pioneers of tourism in the old days, have also celebrated their anniversaries.

Opatija was the centre of hotel construction at that time, with two large representative hotels built in 1884 and 1885 – the hotels Kvarner and Imperial. With this, a large hotel construction site was opened. Up until the beginning of the WWI around 100 hotels, bed and breakfasts and residential villas were built there. The hotel architecture, especially in Opatija, Dubrovnik, Mali Lošinj, Crikvenica and Brijuni with its quality and modern design, stood neck to neck with the tourism architecture on the French or Italian Riviera of that time.

The exhibition «The first hotels on the Adriatic » will be opened until the end of February 2012 in the Croatian Museum of Tourism. It is a specialist national museum which gathers preserves, explores and presents the material and non material tourism heritage which is a witness to the rich history of tourism in Croatia. The museum operates in Villa Angiolina and in the Art Pavilion ‘Juraj Šporer’ in Opatija.

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