American Gardens

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  1. © Tourist Board Opatija
  2. © Tourist Board Opatija
  3. © Tourist Board Opatija
  4. © Tourist Board Opatija

Time Out Says

Terraced gardens overlooking much of Kvarner Bay

Renovated over two years and reopened in April 2019, the American Gardens are a terraced set of gardens accessed by walkways and elaborate stone stairways that run through its 8000 square metres. The view from the gardens is wonderful, offering a virtually uninterrupted vista of Kvarner bay. First built in 1926 by Mihály Pál Kuczor, he was actually a merchant of Hungarian origin, but had made his money in the trade of Hungarian paprika to America, hence the garden's name. That was not his sole claim to fame as he ended up marrying into the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty and the gardens themselves are dedicated to his wife, Hildegard von Hortenau. The gardens originally contained camphor, eucalyptus, camellias, gardenias, magnolias, Australian agaves, many roses, Vitis Vinifera and, of course, paprika. Efforts have been made to reestablish the gardens as they were. Although much of the planting is clearly not native and much of the stonework is constructed to appear ancient, not all of the architecture here is a folly; the gardens contain the ruins of Šišina mirina, named after their first owner, Ivan Jurković Šiša, the preservation of which was a condition of the land sale to Kuczor.


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