Opatija is a town in western Croatia, just southwest of Rijeka on the Adriatic coast. The whole sea-coast to the north and south of Opatija is rocky and picturesque, and contains several smaller winter resorts.The old 14th-century Benedictine abbey, Opatija Sv. Jakova ("Abbey of Saint Jacob"), from which the town derives its name (opatija means "abbey" in Croatian) is located in Park Svetog Jakova or Saint Jacobs Park. The Saint Jacob church, built in 1506 and enlarged in 1937, now stands on the same spot. The neo-Romanesque Church of the Annunciation with its pronounced green cupola, was designed in 1906 by architect Karl Seidl. The city's most prestigious sight is the Villa Angiolina, which was built in 1844 by Iginio Scarpa, a rich merchant from Rijeka. This villa, transformed into a hotel, gave a boost to tourism to this town. The town park Angiolina contains many species of plants from all over the world. It has been protected since 1968. Opatija is known for the Maiden with the seagull, a statue by Zvonko Car (1956), which is positioned on a promontory by the Juraj Šporer art pavilion. It has turned into one of symbols of Opatija.
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