Parkovi Opatija

Park Angiolina The central park of Opatija is a horticultural monument at the area of 3.64 hectares. It is divided into 60 fields with 150 plant species. Many of them originated in the distant locations and are not typical for this climate. There is information in historic documents which testify the design of the park in the period from 1845 to 1860, in the vicinity of Villa Angiolina, which was the property of Iginio Scarpa, a great nature lover. In that part there are many plants which were brought from Japan, China, South America, Australia and other parts of the world. Among the interesting species there is the Japanese camellia Park Angiolina(Camellia japonica), which has with time become the renowned symbol of Opatija.
Later on, the estate changed owners and in 1882 it became the property of the Company of South Railways. Within their project to build a winter medicinal resort, the old park was reconstructed and new parts were planted. The reconstruction and expansion was designed by Carl Schubert, the head of the Viennese imperial society for construction of parks. Therefore from 1883 to 1886 the part of the park in front of Villa Angiolina, Hotel Kvarner and Hotel Imperijal was built.

Climate in Opatija has been beneficial to preservation of that vegetation. Statistical monitoring of climatic elements: air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and winds shows that Opatija has all the favourable features of Mediterranean climate. The vicinity of Učka provides cool nights, while the spring is the most pleasant season due to its temperature. Opatija has a lot of rain which is very important for lushness of the vegetation. In general, there are no freezing temperatures in the winter, while the snow is very rare in Opatija. Opatija is protected from cold and strong “bura” (northern wind), which is also good for vegetation.

St. Jacob's parkThe oldest building in Opatija, St. Jacob’s church, was first mentioned in historic documents of 1449. It was built on the foundations of a Benedictine monastery- Benedictine abbey, after which the city was named. Until 19th century it was the only building in the empty area by the sea. In 1844, previously mentioned Iginio Ritter von Scarpa bought the land in the vicinity of the church and built a stylish summer house which he named after his wife Angiolina- Villa Angiolina. It became the center of social life and meeting point of renowned visitors, among whom there were famous European personalities of those times, e.g. the Austrian queen Maria Anna, wife of Ferdinand 1st. After the arrival of the Society of Southern Railways, the development of Opatija as a tourist and medicinal St. Jacob's parkcenter, with construction of new hotels, began.

Such historic development of the park and the oldest buildings divided the park into two units, one by the church- St. Jacob’s Park and the other by Villa Angiolina- Angiolina Park.

On 9 January 1968, the Republic Institute for Nature Protection in Zagreb issued a Decision no.: 7/2- 1968 ordering the following: 1. Park "1st May" – later divided into two units and renamed in:
- one unit by the church of St. Jacob, St. Jacob’s Park, whose area is 6.159 m2
- other unit by Villa Angiolina - Angiolina Park, whose area is 27.668 m2
2. Park "Ivo Lola Ribar" - renamed into Margarita Park, whose area is 29.901 m2

are placed under special protection as natural monuments (monuments of garden architecture - parks) and are incorporated in the register of specially protected natural objects, under numbers 560 and 561 – green book
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