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May 17, 2011 by  
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Hotel Villa Astra, Lovran

Picturesque town Lovran stands out by its luxurious villas on attractive places.

Of significant importance are three villas, all three are the work of entrepreneur Atilio Maguolo.

Villa San Rocco represents a complex building situated in a narrow strip of land protruding into the sea. The other two are villa Denes and villa Gierra (today Villa Astra, hotel) with facades in Venetian neogothic style with balustrated windows and other elements in stone. Through some time, they have been turned into housing estates and significantly degraded. So, they required renovation.

Three of Lovran Villas stick out for their beauty and ingenuity:  villa Magnolia (originally villa San Nicolo), villa Frappart (villa San Michele) and villa Santa Maria. They were the realisation of congenial fancy of their creator, the Venetian architect Carl Seidl who between Lovran and Opatija realised the best examples of his creativity. His eclectic vocation is manifested in different elements that are divided between themselves either by declining historicism or by emerging secession of Vienna and neogothic elements of decorations however all admirably integrated in a perfect execution of marbles, stone relieves, columns. The extreme luxury of the ambience intensified by the shades of lush parks form a distinctive whole. The able hand of Carl Seidl can be found in two other Lovran villas, that is, in partial reconstruction of villa Blankenstein (originally villa Souvenir) and Villa delle rose (originally Rosenvilla) whose interior is at present in a very dilapidated state.

We find many buildings in Lovran in use as touristic facilities. But they are more modest and were constructed for profit making as villas for rent, pension or houses for use of families. Typical example is villa San Giuseppe.

Buildings from the end of the 19th century belong still to the historicism concept that dominated the end of the century. From the beginning of 20th century we see increased affirmation of Vienna’s secession. The most noted examples from this period of transition are villa Atlanta and Antionetta still in the style of neorenaissance. However the villas Gianna (originally villa Jeanette), Komunscak and A la Mode are prevalently in Vienna’s secession style.

The hotels of Lovran initially were buildings that required reconstruction works with an aim to be labeled as hotels/restaurants. Villa Fernandera built  1873 as pension Belvedere continues with its initial function.

At the end of the 19th century two more modern hotels emerged, Hotel Miramare (originally villa Iris) and hotel Primorka (originally villa Carmen).

The Beauregard demonstrates already the higher phase of the development. Also, newer and bigger buildings, built in Lovran for tourism purposes as hotels, show a modern functionality of a very high level. Common feature to these buildings surrounded by the green gardens is their isolated location and their decorated facades, particularly accentuated facing the sea.

For example Grand Hotel Lovran (at present artho pedic hospital) was one of the most luxurious hotels on the riviera and offered services of high level of comfort to its guest. Hotel Bristol (originally Hotel Excelsior), now renovated, preserved its original function and form.

However we need to consider that one of the most ancient tourism, architectonal complexes of our coast posses all the elements of historic and artistic value and its valorisation and preservation is necessary.

Come and see CROATIAN VILLAS on Kvarner riviera.

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