Hotel Kvarner was the first hotel in Opatija, and probably on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. It was built in 1884 on the site of previous vineyards that belonged to the Toma family, and the building construction lasted only ten months, involving craftsmen and building materials from all parts of the Monarchy.
At first the hotel was planned as a sanatorium for lung disease patients and for this reason the cemetery in its proximity was moved to another location (while the moving of St. Jacob’s church was unsuccessful).
The whole initiative and investment was financed by the Southern Railways Company and its director, Friedrich Julius Schüler, while the building contractors were officiated by architect designer Wilhelm and engineer Meese. The oldest part of the hotel is its southern, classicistic corpus.
The northern part initially housed the hot water baths (Warmbäder), connected to the hotel with a roofed corridor (Wandelbahn).
In front of the hotel, and all the way to the shoreline, was the terrace of “The Most Elegant Café in the World”, which was later withdrawn from the seaside promenade.In place of the burned up hot water baths, the Crystal Hall was built in 1913, and to this very day it is the site of the most festive events and balls held in Opatija.
Source: Amir Muzur-Itinerary for Researchers and the Inquisitive
(photo: Georges Jansoone)