Monday, November 17, 2014


On the island of Losinj you can heal yourself without medicines. The intuition of Habsburg doctor Conrad Clar, who saw his son fully recovering from scarlet fever in 1885, has been proven by a scientific research initially showed in the 45th conference of the professional scientific croatian pulmonologists. Thanks to the unique combination of 230 medicinal plants among 1,100 species detected, but due to warm currents on both sides of the coast, as well as aromatic oils in the winds (profitably exploited even in drying hams), Kvarner’s jewel is now one of the most important healing destinations in the whole Mediterranean Sea. In addition, the quality of bathing waters is "excellent", with values of less than 60 bik intestinal enterococci per 100 milliliters, while drinking water has the highest level of purity, so it can be taken directly from the lake Vrana on the nearby island of Cres. But that's not all. With a sun exposure of 2631 hours per year and an average temperature of more than 15 Celsius, Losinj is considered a landmark case in the development of new environmental sustainability projects.

"This island is an open air clinic for any treatment related to pulmonary rehabilitation; - president of the Croatian Society pulmonologists Neven Miculinic confirms - you can just stay for two to four weeks to get lasting benefits against asthma, allergies or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. In fact, it is regularly organized here Srebrinjak Children Hospital’s Asthma Camp, point of excellence in the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network".

The most sensational fact, however, is the continuity between today's environmental data and Ambroz Haradic’s ones, the professor of Mali Losinj nautical school who first showed, beginning from 1879 and in collaboration with the Central Office for Meteorology in Vienna, the causal relationship between climate and vegetation: thanks to him, Habsburg elite started traveling here, including the founder of the laringoiatria Leopold von Schroetter Kristelli, Archduke Karl Stephan, till Kaiser Franz Josef himself, with his wife Sissi of course.  After selecting Cikat as the best place for treatments, although it lacked protection against the return of the seasonal bora wind, Vienna Crown immediately planted 80,000 white and Aleppo pines, in addition to 500 ornamental plants, reaching 500,000 units already in 1891: an unmatched guinness in the Mediterranean Sea still today. They helped to set up a 236 acres park, next to the much less extensive Pod Jovori in Velj Losinj. Then several noble villas appeared: they were often adapted from old captains and Lošinj owners’ houses, which had already brought a golden age to the Island. Then the first hotel hit, the Vindobona hotel, together with Baroness Adolfine Hasslinger’s Institute of Health, till the fateful day when, in 1892, Mali and Veli Lošinj were officially awarded as curative health resorts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. 

Recognizing the good fortune of the Island, the illustrious Franco-Spanish traveler and journalist Charles Yriarte wrote one of the first detailed guide on the Dalmatian coast in 1874 (very popular for the superfine quality of his drawings): "The inhabitant of Losinj is the most industrious, the most exciting, the most intelligent, the treasurer of the coast; - you can read on "Istria, Kvarner Bay and its islands" - circumstances favorited very much the Island and when the tide rose, it rose with the tide. The people have become leaders in the coast for cabotage; Buccari or Porto-re, on the outskirts of Fiume, makes fishing boats: Losinj builds large tartans, trabacoli and Polish boats that can cope with storms. No port in Istria and Dalmatia can compete with this for the construction of large merchant ships". And again: "The Crimean War decided the fate of a large number of these people; their prosperity dates precisely from that moment; Ministry of the French navy hired boats here in 1854, but also British, Italians and Turks did the same for any kind of transport or for the floating docks". 

Fell down into Italian hands, the Island was deprived of many of its privileges because of new laws (1924) forbidding the arrival of guests who had diseases, but managed to recover again between 1968 and 1990, when Veli Losinj hospital for children with allergic diseases (partially turned into an health resort today) entered into an health agreement with GDR. At that time it numbered 145,000 patients per year and 190 employees. "Unlike in the past - PR manager of Losinj Tourist Board, Zrinka Badurina, notices ( - today our island can count on an extremely diversified offer. Only in 2013 we welcomed almost 241,000 visitors (211,000 foreigners and about 37,000 Italians), reaching 276,000 nights. Sufficient reasons to be optimistic about the future: if the opening of a research center specialized on the Adriatic sea turtles has generated over 60,000 visitors just last season, in 2014 we’re expecting even more positive figures for the opening of Marine Science Centre at the Blue World Institute, dedicated to the study of dolphins". 

The most beloved sea mammals have in Losinj one of their three major shrines of copulation (along with those of the island of Hvar and the Kornati National Park) and, from 2015, they can be observed through a special program of "dolphin watching ". After a restoration of 15 years and a long tour to Croatia and Europe, local administration has planned prestigious "Apoksiomenos"’s installation in the new section of the Kvarner Palace in Mali Losinj: an untouched bronze back to the I / II century AD, depicting a young athlete who cleans her naked body with a spatula, that was discovered under the local sea bed by a diving Belgian. Considered one of the highest antiquity piece about male beauty, today there are only two other copies (in Vienna and Texas). Finally, thanks to a traditional production of oil and cosmetics project, which involves every single resident from kindergarten to older generations, Losinj has not only conquered the Skal Awards 2013 for environmental sustainability and the analogous Brand Leader Award for 'South-east Europe, but within 2020 aspires to achieve even the official status of "health destination" of the European Union. Nearly 130 years since the imperial award, history repeating. And if the works of airport expansion are in progress, re-opening of the Spa Hotel Bellevue (a 5 star around 50 million euro investment, since July by the forest Cikal), as the construction of a 250 miles pedestrian trail, finally delivers the crown of Adriatic Sea to Losinj.


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