Managing director of the Southern Railway Company and initiator of Opatija's transformation into a renowned seaside resort
The managing director of the Southern Railway Company, known for his infrastructure projects all over the Austro-Hungarian Empire, achieved his greatest success in Opatija. He is responsible for the present appearance of Opatija and its status as one of Europe's most famous tourist destinations.
Friedrich Julius Schüler encouraged the development of luxury villas and hotels in the towns along the railway route in order to motivate the gentry to travel by train more often. Opatija won him over with its mild and beneficial climate and its natural beauty.
In the mid-19th century, Opatija only had a monastery, a few houses, and the wonderful Villa Angiolina, surrounded by a large park and built by Iginio Scarpa. Schüler bought the villa and started the construction of the Hotel Kvarner, the oldest hotel in the Adriatic, and shortly afterwards the Hotel Stephanie (today the Imperial). He also encouraged the construction of the Lungomare coastal promenade.
If you go on a walk through the history of Opatija in his company, he'll show you how he created a town that amazed numerous European royals.