Opatija Seaside Promenade

Built in phases, this path stretches from Preluka to Lovran and its total length is approximately 12 kilometers. The initiator of the operation was the Scenic Improvement Society (Abbazianer Verschönerungsverein), and the conductors of the works were Heinrich Gintl, Alfred Manussi and Konrad Rubbia.

They were confronted with great land purchasing problems and countless disputes had to be settled through the authority of Jettmar, the county captain. The first, northern phase of the path (Volosko-Slatina) was completed in 1889, when Opatija officially becomes a Health Resort (the stretch from Dra`ice to the port was finished around 1888), and the southernmost section (that connected Opatija with the promenade in Lovran) only around 1911, thanks to the commitment of physician Julius Hortenau.

Opatija Seaside Promenade

Planned as an important trump card for health tourism, this path, together with the parallel woodland path in the town’s hinterland (today’s Carmen Sylva Promenade) is a potential of psychophysical recreation that is indeed insufficiently exploited. In addition to this, the Promenade passes by most of the significant structures of Opatija’s history, linking the old sanatoriums of the North Strand, the port, Lido, villas Angiolina and Amalia, hotel Kvarner, St. Jacob’s church and finally the hotels with the villas of the South Strand. One of the highest points above sea level is the Grotta del Diavolo (Teufelsbrunnen) near the residence of the consul of Venezuela.

Some features of the seaside promenade have been lost: the bust in honor of Admiral Littrow on the North Strand is gone, the Dr. Masarei footbridge has disappeared – replaced by the reconstructed path in front of hotel Admiral. Again, there are points that have changed only, in appearance, location or through use: Schwerdtner’s relievo of Billroth made in 1907, with the inscription Dem großen Arzt und Förderer des Kurortes (“To a great physician and promoter of the health resort”), was destroyed in World War II, and Dolinar’s new one, with the inscription “An outstanding surgeon and a friend of Opatija,” was erected in 1965 several meters further to the south, on the chapel wall. Rathausky’s bust of Schüler (Rathausky is also the sculptor of the Helios and Selene fountain in front of the Imperial and of the Madonna del Mare, now located in front of St. Jacob’s church) once stood on the seaside promenade in front of hotel Kvarner, and today it stands in the Angiolina Park  among the bananas.

Opatija, Lungomare, Opatija Promenade

Finally, there are newly erected symbols, such as the memorial tablet to Pilsudski in the Sv. Jakov Park, not far from the Maiden with a seagull.
Source: Amir Muzur-Itinerary for Researchers and the Inquisitive

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