At the beginning of the 15th century, long before the town was discovered by wealthy merchants from Rijeka and the Viennese nobility, and before it acquired its present name, Opatija was home to a Benedictine monastery.
For hundreds of years, the monastery was the only large building in the area, also functioning as a school, and the venue for court proceedings and the fair which took place on the feast day of St. James, the patron saint of the town.
The town's name is derived from the Croatian word for monastery, or more precisely abbey, which is opatija. In the centre of the town, you can still see the church that once belonged to the monastery.
An expert on the town's past, the Benedictine Monk is your ideal companion for a walk through Opatija's history, especially when it comes to the period which has not been recorded in the historical archives.