The Villa Angiolina

The Juraj Šporer Art Pavilion

Swiss house

The Villa Angiolina

The Villa Angiolina is one of the oldest buildings in Opatija, as well as the most beautiful residential villa built in the middle of the 19th century. It is mentioned in documents dating from the year 1848. This is a villa within the landscape, belonging to the Palladian style, with Historicist architectural shaping of Neo-Renaissance vocabulary. It is surrounded by a park, the famous arboretum which is a significant example of horticultural heritage. The building is symmetrical and has a monumental stairway on the sea-facing side, oriented towards the central section of the park with its floral rotunda. The interior of the ground floor is lavishly decorated with stucco work (friezes, garlands), Neo-Corinthian pillars, zoomorphic and vegetative illusionist painting, curtains and mirrors.

The Villa and the adjoining park are a symbol of Opatija. It was built by the Scarpa family from Rijeka (wealthy ship-owners and merchants) at the former location of the modest house of sailor Matija Justi Katičić (mentioned in 1837). The Scarpas were well-known for their hospitality, so the Villa and the extraordinary ambience of Opatija attracted guests from Rijeka, as well as passers-by and chance travelers. Count Viktor Chorinsky bought the Villa from the Scarpa family in 1875 and sold it seven years later to the Southern Railway Company which began investing in Opatija. They, in turn, sold the Villa to the Inns and Health Resorts of Opatija Stock Company in Vienna. The Villa was later used by the Health Commission of Opatija, then by Azienda Autonoma di Soggiorno during Italian rule. After World War II, it was used by the Opatija subcommittee of the District of Rijeka Tourist Chamber, followed by the Tourism Society and Tourism Bureau Opatija, the Viktor Car Emin Library, Stage Company Opatija, Villa Angiolina ltd., and Opatija Festival.

Villa Angiolina has three floors with a total surface area of approximately 1000 m². The exemplary ground floor is decorated with columns, stucco work, painting and mirrors and constitutes an exhibit in itself. The first floor is organized functionally and holds the exhibition space. The second floor contains offices, storage and work-shop areas and a library.

The Villa Angiolina is utilized as a distinctive space for cultural, protocolar and other events.

The Juraj Šporer Art Pavilion

The The Juraj Šporer Art Pavilion is located on the seashore, next to St. Jacob parish church. The front section was built in 1900 by the Quarnero Stock Company from Vienna. Until World War I, it was used as a pastry shop called Gerbaud and later Glacier. An annex was built in 1908 by architect Sandor Neuhausler. Until 1910, the concession was held by the Southern Railway Health Resorts, followed by the Austrian Hotel Capacity Association. During Italian rule (until 1930), the concession was held by Rikard Tomašić who had an annex built at the back end. Subsequently, the building became an exhibition pavilion owned by the Municipality of Opatija (the City of Opatija today) and has been used for holding exhibitions until today. The art pavilion is situated on the shoreline, next to the coastal path (the popular lungomare). The building is longitudinal, asymmetrical and has a semi-circular entrance porch with pillars. The roof is flat and built as a terrace.

The façade is decorated with stucco friezes and medallions. A terrace is situated in front of the south façade, above the coastal path. The space is adequately equipped for holding exhibitions. Beside the exhibition area, the building has a storage space and restrooms, suitable gallery illumination, as well as anti-theft and fire alarm systems. The building contains gallery equipment and exhibitions are held year-round. The total surface area is 260 m².

Swiss house

This house was mentioned for the first time in the land registry from 1875 as an outbuilding. It was reconstructed and extended in 1884 when it was already owned by the Southern Railways and it was called the Schweizerhaus or Schwizerhütte, and sometimes ex-Milchstube or ex-latteria was added (Swiss House or Swiss Cottage). Here homemade milk products for Paolo Scarpa and his wife Maria von Bruck were produced. The building has maintained the name Swiss House (Schweizerhaus) to this day. After renovation in 1884 it became a guest house, and then a music room whilst the Dioničko društvo svratišta i lječilišnih zavoda Opatija (Opatija Inns and Sanatoriums Stock Company) from Vienna built public toilets on its ground floor in 1913. During the Italian administration the facility became a gardener’s house, whilst after the Second World War it continuously hosted the offices of the companies taking care of Opatija’s parks and since 2013 the exhibition of the Croatian Museum of Tourism representing the history of Opatija.
Even today the building brings a breath of the Alps to Opatija: the characteristic roofing, the wooden parts of the façade, the wooden windows and the wooden flower boxes below the windows.