Opatija is a city in the Istrian Peninsula in western Croatia. It is situated a few kilometres southwest of Rijeka, one of Croatia's largest cities. It has a population of 7,850.

Interior of the Church of Saint Jacob


The foundations of this city lie with St. Jacob's abbey, which soon evolved into Opatija (Opatija means 'abbey'). St Jacob, the patron saint of travellers, tanners and fruit-growers, is celebrated every year on July 25th, which is also celebrated in the town as the Day of the City of Opatija. In recent history, however, the city of Opatija (Italian: Abbazia) remained in the clutch of the wealthy Austro-Hungarian families who built their exclusive resort-city with opulence in mind. Their stunning mansions line Opatija's coast and fine examples of architecture from the time fill the town with a certain atmosphere of grandeur. Beautiful parks, postcard-promenades and luxurious hotels are all a result of the 'high society' that occupied this town for over a hundred years.

Notably, this city is built upon a hill which stretches right back from the coast. While this does offer breathtaking views from houses, hotels and apartments, the walk back will prove tiring at the least!

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