Botanical Garden in Opatija Gets a Facelift

Total Croatia News

A botanical facelift for one of Croatia’s oldest coastal resorts.

American Gardens, a former botanical garden located on the Nova Cesta road in Opatija, is getting a facelift. The whole project will take place in seven phases, and the first is currently under way. The revitalization of this important tourist attraction started in the spring, thanks to the Ministry of Tourism which has recognized the importance of the project and provided 500,000 kuna for its implementation, with additional funds coming from the City of Opatija, reports Novi List on October 10, 2015.

That marked the beginning of revitalization project for an important part of Opatija’s historic heritage, which covers an area of ​​about 8,000 square metres on the site near the Grand Hotel Adriatic and Thalassotherapy, with wonderful views of the bay.

The project includes the city-owned company Parkovi, which owns the gardens. According to Raul Degano, director of the company, extensive construction works have already been completed and currently they are working on horticultural activities. “The first phase of the project will be completed by the end of this calendar year. It is anticipated that the American Gardens will then open to the public and that we will be able to receive our first visitors. However, the biggest problem is access to the gardens since that is only possible from one road”, Degano said.

American Gardens have a substantial tourist potential, but have been neglected for years. The whole project with its seven phases will cost about a million euros. Tourism officials believe that it could become a good reason for tourists to visit Opatija, especially in the pre-season and post-season. However, the money for the remaining stages has still not been found. The officials have sent applications for the European funds, so they hope that before the second phase begins, which is planned for 2016, the funds will be found after all, Degano explained.

The City of Opatija has already started with the promotion of gardens on the Austrian market during a large horticultural exhibition at Bad Ischl, which is a twin city with Opatija. The support of Bad Ischl, as well as of the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board office in Vienna Ranko Vlatković, who is involved in the promotion of American Gardens, has resulted in the announcement of the arrival of the first guests from Austria in March 2016. The tourists will come to the town to tour this attractive part of Opatija.

Representatives of travel agencies will come to the town this fall as well, accompanied by a television journalist and a host of the leading specialized show on historical gardens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to see for themselves this treasure and to present it in their TV show. In addition to the American Gardens, the visitors from Austria will tour the seaside promenade, known for its centuries-old oak trees, as well as numerous parks in Opatija.


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