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MY ISTRIA GUIDE

The Maiden with the Seagull - a symbol that elegantly preserves the secrets of Opatija

The Maiden with the Seagull - a symbol that elegantly preserves the secrets of Opatija

Enjoy the dreamlike view like the Maiden with the Seagull on Opatija's promenade

Opatija is one of the most beautiful coastal towns of the Kvarner Bay, not far from Rijeka. The town is known for its rich history, wellness and health tourism as well as beautiful promenades and parks. If you stay in one of our beautiful villas with pool, we recommend you to visit Opatija and explore this beautiful town.

The most famous promenade is the Franz Joseph I. Promenade or better known as Lungomare, which stretches from Volosko through Opatija to Lovran. This beautiful promenade leads you along the coast to the most picturesque beaches, but also to famous sights such as the park and Villa Angioline and the statue of the Maiden with the Seagull.

promenade-by-the-rocky-coastline-with-a-few-houses-nearby

This statue is the most famous symbol not only of Opatija but of the whole of Kvarner bay. In its place used to stand the sculpture of the Madonna del Mare, which was a symbol of mourning and tragedy. In 1891, Count Arthur Kesselstadt tragically lost his life on the sea near Opatija during a heavy storm. After his death, his family erected a statue of the Mother of God in his honour to watch over his soul. Time, wind and the sea slowly left their mark on the gilded sculpture and it was decided to restore it. Today, the sculpture can be seen in the Museum of Croatian Tourism in Villa Angiolina. The Madonna's place remained empty for some time until it was replaced in 1956 by the sculpture The Maiden with the Seagull, made by the academic sculptor Zvonko Car. Originally, the sculpture's seagull had a fish in its beak, which disappeared. Many speculate that it was lost in a storm, while others think that it was stolen.

sculpture-of-maiden-with-seagull-on-a-rock-and-Opatija-in-the-background

You are probably wondering who exactly the Maiden with the Seagull is? The sculptor kept his secret for 55 years until Mrs Jelena Jendrasic revealed the long-kept secret. It was actually her who served as the model for the mysterious statue of the maiden. It took over a year to make the sculpture, for which Mrs Jendrasic posed for hours. She passed away in 2015, but her statue of the Maiden with the Seagull still keeps looking at the distant open Adriatic sea.

coastal-town-Opatija-with-illuminated-promenade-and-port-by-the-sea-by-night

When you stay in one of our villas near Opatija, be sure to take a long walk along the sea and visit the statue of the Maiden with the Seagull. The statue is especially impressive at night and during storms, when the waves crash against the rocks and she rises from the sea like a sea nymph.


Ana-Marija Tot

22.11.2021
+385 1 222 70 50