Kvarner newsletter / no 42

Croatian Museum of Tourism
The first hotels on the Adriatic

Have you ever wondered what some of the first hotels on the Adriatic looked like one hundred or more years ago? While enjoying your holiday in some of the area's newer facilities, we recommend a visit to the Croatian Museum of Tourism in Opatija, which until the end of February 2012 will be hosting the exhibition entitled "The first hotels on the Adriatic".

Until the end of February 2012, the Croatian Museum of Tourism in Opatija will host the large exhibition entitled "The first hotels on the Adriatic", which pays tribute to the first tourist facilities as indispensable parts of local heritage. Many Adriatic regions have already celebrated 120 or more years of tourism, a tradition that dates back to the times when seaside hotels were the first tourist facilities in these areas.
How these hotels looked like and what is their present value in historical, cultural and architectural sense? The answers are provided in this exhibition in Opatija – Croatia's first tourist resort.
The development of tourism at the end of the 19th and in the first decades of the 20th century in Croatia is best reflected in the hotels that were built in that period. At the end of the 19th century, when Opatija was already a famous health resort, beach tourism started developing along the seacoast. Magnificent hotels were built in the style of historicism and surrounded by well-tended parks.
The first two representative hotels in Opatija were built in 1884 and 1885 respectively. These were the Kvarner (originally Quarnero) and Imperial (originally Stephanie). This marked the beginning of a busy construction period, during which – until the outbreak of World War One – further ca. hundred hotels, guesthouses and villas were built along the coast.
Thanks to the quality of their architecture, many of these hotels, especially those located in well-known tourist resorts such as Opatija, Dubrovnik, Mali Lošinj, Crikvenica and the Brijuni islands, can be compared to the tourist architecture of French and Italian rivieras of that period.
This exhibition has two goals. The first is to present the oldest hotels on the Adriatic, and the second is to present them in the context of tourism heritage, which is today an important part of many resorts' tourism offer.