In 1906 Crikvenica was officially recognized as a sanatorium...
Crikvenica has a hundred-year-old tradition in tourism and is today one of the leading tourist centres of the Kvarner Gulf. Foreigners got interested in Crikvenica as early as 1890, when they started to visit the town on their excursions from Opatija. In 1891 the first hotel was opened, owned by Ivan Skomera. The owner named the hotel Erzherzogin Clotilde. In the same year, Archduke Joseph bought the Pauline monastery and turned it into a military seaside resort and then into a children's summer resort; today it is a hotel.
The rapid tourist development initiated the construction of a public beach and the arrangement of a public park (1891). The foundation-stone laying ceremony was also attended by the Croatian viceroy Khuen Hedervary. The magnificent Hotel Therapia, which still ranks among one of the most beautiful hotel buildings on the entire Croatian coast, was built in 1895 and in accordance with the concepts of those times served as a health resort.
In 1906 Crikvenica was officially recognized as a sanatorium. The tourist development of Crikvenica is still going on and its nice riviera, which stretches from Jadranovo in the north to Selce in the south, offers exceptional opportunities for rest and recreation. Crikvenica has retained its original character of a health resort until today and the well-organized medical institution Thalassotherapia is a renowned sanatorium (respiratory disorders and diseases, rheumatism). Numerous pavilions (of all categories), apartments, rooms, the coast with long and well arranged public beaches, sports events and entertainment programs follow a century-old tradition of tourism in this town. Particularly interesting are the beaches equipped with various entertainment and recreational opportunities for children, which make Crikvenica one of the most popular seaside resorts for families.
Since the hinterland of Crikvenica offers a variety of hiking and hunting opportunities, the season does not end at the end of summer. The Huntsmen's Club Srndac is active in the town. There is also an aquarium with the Adriatic flora and fauna and tropical fish (Vinodolska Street 8).
Crikvenica developed on the location of a Roman travel station Ad Turres, a natural road exit to the sea; it used to be the port of ancient Vinodol towns. Already in the 14th century there was a small church of St. Mary, which was restored in 1412 by the Frankopans, the masters of the region. Next to it they built a monastery and settled the Paulines. The monastery complex was reinforced by an angular cylindrical tower (Kastel = Citadel). The church has a Gothic sanctuary and a Baroque nave was added to it later (1659, 1704). The main altar with the statues by Pavao Riedl (1776) and two side altars and the pulpit are works of Pauline sculptors and wood carvers. From the initial core around the harbour, Crikvenica expanded toward Kraljevica and Selce. Its rapid development was fostered by tourism. In 1893 Hotel Therapia was built and the physical plan was elaborated (architect S. Höfler); villas and hotels were built and parks arranged. On the location of the Romanesque church of St. Anthony, dismantled in 1933, the neo-Romanesque church of the same name was erected.
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