Opatija

Opatija is one of the most renowned cities of the Croatian coast and is a tourist destination
with a hundred-year old tradition that still attracts visitors from all over the world.

Located in Kvarner – the crossroads between northern and southern Croatia, as well as Slovenia and eastern Italy – Opatija is not only a geographical crossroad, but also the social and cultural intersection of the region.

Opatija owes its centuries-old reputation as a popular destination to the mixture of continental and Mediterranean architecture, as well as its enogastronomic cuisine and temperate climate.

unique heritage

During the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Opatija was the destination of internationally famous artists and scientists, such as the composer Giacomo Puccini, the writer Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, the Austrian empress Maria Anna and the scientist Albert Einstein.

Nearby Volosko is the birthplace of the world-famous Croatian meteorologist, Andrija Mohorovičić. Ten hotel rooms in Bevanda are dedicated to these famous persons, just as they dedicated their time to the town and left their indelible trace in these areas. It is not exaggerating to say that at one time Opatija was one of the favourite destinations of the rich and famous.

The famous historical people have been replaced by those from the present days. Opatija is a lively town which, besides its own wealth of attractions, enjoys the urban character of the nearby city of Rijeka on the one side, and the rural character of the Istrian peninsula and the islands of Krk, Cres and Lošinj, on the other. This is equally a place to relax and enjoy, and a place to start off your explorations of Kvarner and other Istrian destinations.

1913.

1971.

today

Today’s facilities of Bevanda and the neighbouring Summer Theatre were created by reclaiming land from the sea in 1913, as the beginning of an idea to build the largest European health palace of the period.

Exactly one hundred years later, in this unique location, Bevanda has realized this idea of superior accommodation and gastronomy.

Opening its doors to guests in 1971, the late Branko Bevanda established a restaurant of the same name and made it into an institution. With menus based on top-quality local ingredients, the restaurant became a hub of quality and reliable gastronomy in Kvarner.  Both in Croatia and the entire region, Bevanda was the place for meeting, socialization, family gatherings, laughter and relaxed enjoyment. Bevanda set the standards of the hospitality industry, and it still abides by them.

Bevanda’s current reputation is enriched by 10 elegantly furnished rooms, each named after a famous person who stayed in Opatija throughout its past and who has been inspired by its trendy cultural and social scene. Among them are dancer, Isadora Duncan, writers Vladimir Nabokov, Sergei Yesenin and James Joyce and composer, Gustav Mahler. The hotel is designed for complete relaxation in top quality accommodation facilities, and to accommodate and exceed our guests’ wishes. Hotel Bevanda is born!

A facility with architectural and other solutions designed by Croatian vendors, Bevanda not only wishes to continue its rich tradition, but it has also committed to do so.

Just by the Adriatic Sea – and with a memorable view of beautiful Rijeka, Istria and the islands – Bevanda Hotel, Restaurant and Bar offers you a unique and always pleasurable trip.

1882., Dublin, Ireland
1941., Zürich, Switzerland

James Joyce, one of the most influential writers and poets of the early 20th century modernist avant-garde was also a passionate traveller. Having left its home country, Ireland, in his early twenties, he roamed the European landscapes where he enjoyed artistic freedom and found inspiration for his novels such as Ulysses and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It is probable that the Adriatic Sea and Opatija inspired Joyce to write the novels that are now considered to be literary classics, as he used to visit Opatija regularly for the summers before, during and after World War I. Joyce’s exploration of language and new literary forms undoubtedly make him not only a superb writer, but also an inspiration for future generations.

1860., Taganrog, Russia
1904., Badenweiler, Germany

Opatija’s reputability, its squares, cafés, hotels and natural beauties were described in the story “Ariadna” by one of Russia’s leading writers and playwrights, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov. Opatija is the place where Ariadna realized her dream to advance from the village she was born in to socialize with the aristocracy of her time, and the place where two men fought for her affection.  Having in mind how popular Opatija was at the turn of the century, and the fact that he had enjoyed it himself, it is no wonder that this is where the writer, often called ‘the master of modern short fiction’, placed his narration. He is considered to be one of the key representatives of the Russian school of realism of the late 19th century, and the author of pieces of art such as Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.

1879., Ulm, Germany
1955., Princeton, USA

Albert Einstein is considered to be the most influential physicist of the 20th century and his name is linked to discoveries that have greatly shaped man-kind. His theory of relativity is considered to be one the pillars of modern physics, while his interpretation of the photo effect was crucial in establishing quantum theory. Winner of the Nobel Award for Physics, Einstein spent the summer of 1932 in Opatija where he exchanged letters on the subject of tumultuous world politics with his contemporaries, like Sigmund Freud. Einstein was a globetrotter. Due to his work, research and accomplishments, he split his travels between Europe, Asia and America that makes it understandable why he chose the calming and curing environment of Opatija as one of his destinations. Owing to his intellectual accomplishments, the word “Einstein” is still a synonym for genius.

1899.,  Saint Petersburg, Russia
1977., Montreux, Switzerland

If he were alive today, the Russian-American writer, Vladimir Nabokov would think of Opatija with pleasure for the most part. It was here where, as a boy with his family, he enjoyed the sea, relaxation, walks and chasing butterflies. It would probably be a little less pleasant for him to remember his visit to the hair stylist in Rijeka, as well as his hurried leaving from the Opatija café after his father had noticed two Japanese officers sitting by the table right next to them (at that time, in 1904, Russia was at war with Japan). Opatija had left a trace on his life; Nabokov described half a century later in the first chapter of his autobiography, “Speak, Memory!” He will probably be best remembered for his novel, Lolita – a name that became synonymous for a girl on the threshold of maturity – but also by hundreds of poems, short stories, plays, translations, criticisms and essays.

1860., Kaliště, Czech Republic
1911., Vienna, Austria

Opatija’s architecture, parks and the Adriatic inspired Gustav Mahler, the composer and conductor who is considered, with regards classical music, to be the bridge between the Austro-German tradition of the 19th century and the modernism of the early 20th century. At the turn of the century, Mahler composed part of his Fourth Symphony here, while in Easter of 1905, he found the inspiration for the Sixth Symphony in the town. As an artist, as well as the Intendant of the Vienna State Opera, Mahler certainly fit well into his contemporary Opatija, the trendy resort of the rich, powerful and famous of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and beyond. At that time, Opatija was a cultural centre and the place where Mahler and his contemporaries, such as Giacommo Puccini and Franz Lehár, used to meet.

1877., San Francisco, SAD
1927., Nice, France

“I have never seen a palm tree growing so free. Every day I contemplated its leaves flickering in the morning breeze, and it taught me that gentle trembling of shoulders, arms, fingers . . .” This is how one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century, the universally popular Isadora Duncan, the mother of modern dance, spoke of a palm tree in the park behind the hotel. It is possible that it was the view of the Opatija’s palm trees that inspired her to free her ballet performances from conservative boundaries and to promote dance as creative art. This ballet reformer often spent her time with her husband, Sergei Yesenin, on the Mediterranean and she also visited Opatija several times. A monument was erected in her memory, the memory of a woman whose life was characterised by defiance to social standards.

1858., Lucca, Italy
1924., Brussels, Belgium

Giacomo Puccini, often considered to be Italy’s greatest composer after Verdi, and the author of operas that are now part of the standard repertoires throughout the world, spent his summers in Opatija. Enjoying the local architecture and the sea at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, Puccini composed works such as La Bohème, Tosca and Madame Butterfly. Although conceptually based in the classic Italian opera of the 19th century, Puccini was one of the key protagonists of verism, the artistic movement and method in art that is characterised by striving to make the presentation and expression of reality as truthful as possible. Up until today, Puccini has remained the most frequently performed artist of his generation, having thus indebted the Italian opera in historical proportions.

1895., Konstantinovo, Russia
1925., Saint Petersburg, Russia

She spoke little Russian and he did not speak any foreign languages. Their marriage was short. However, they spent many of their married days in Opatija. The American globally popular dancer, Isadora Duncan, and one of the most famous Russian poets of the 20th century, Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin, exchanged their love towards art and each other during hot summer walks in the park behind the Bevanda Hotel. While he followed Duncan on her ballet tours, Yesenin created art on the subject of the Russian village and nature enjoying the reputation of both a “people’s poet” and a bohemian. He was a talented, but also a controversial poet – adored by the wide public but scorned by the literary and political elite. Because the government feared his impact might weaken young people’s civil orientation, his works were not published in full until 1966.

1803., Rome, Italy
1884., Prague, Czech Republic

For three years Maria Anna of Savoy, the wife of Emperor Ferdinand I, enjoyed the sun and the sea in Opatija which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Born in Rome as the daughter of the Italian King, Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia, and having become the Empress of Austria by marriage, Maria Anna was unmistakably of European high nobility. This had a crucial impact on Opatija, which became, after her stay, a famous resort of the Vienna nobility. Towards the end of the 19th century, a 14-kilometre long promenade from Volosko to Lovran was built. Soon after that, construction of a railroad towards Vienna and Budapest ensued. The wealth of the city nobility was reflected in the sizes of the erected villas. Opatija was promoted as a place for relaxation and recuperation, and its offer was comparable to that of the French Riviera. Sometimes called “Vienna on the Sea”, it was a place people came to see and be seen.

1857., Volosko, Croatia
1936.,  Zagreb, Croatia

Born in Volosko, a fishing village near Opatija, the Croat, Andrija Mohorovičić is one of the pivotal world names when it comes to accomplishments in the domain of seismology and meteorology. He is best known for the revelation that Earth’s crusts, the oceanic and the continental, are separated from the Earth’s mantle by a separate layer. Mohorovičić came to this revelation, known as the Mohorovičić discontinuity or the Moho layer, in 1910 by observing the sudden increase in the speed of earthquake waves. As Mohorovičić is considered the father of modern seismology, one of the Moon’s craters and the 8422 Asteroid carry his name.

In 2014, Opatija will celebrate 170 years of tourism. Being part of that tradition means being part of the tourist history of this area. Opatija’s charm and elegance are here to stay.