Full Steam ahead top the Austro-Hungarian Riviera

From Vienna to the Adriatic Sea

A Documentation by Gernot Stadler and Björn Kölz

Documentary drama, 52 min, 2014
GS-Film, ORF/3sat
Written by
Gernot Stadler
Directed by
Björn Kölz, Gernot Stadler
Idea & Concept
Björn Kölz
Gernot Stadler, Dieter Frank
Camera assistance & Sound
Björn Kölz
ORF Enterprise

The documentary by Björn Kölz and Gernot Stadler traces the history of the Southern Railway and the effects of railway construction in the 19th century and sets out on a journey to Vienna via the Semmering, through Styria and finally to the Istrian coast of Opatija, formerly known as Abbazia. The picturesque seaside town with its Benedictine abbey quickly flourished after being opened up because of the railway and soon, not only the nobles of Europe met at the Austro-Hungarian Riviera, but also the wealthy bourgeoisie from all over the world travelled to the Austrian Adriatic coast in luxurious railway coupes.

The final destination of the trip is the still fashionable spa town of Optaija/Abbazia, where one is proud of the Austrian past. In numerous hotels, such as the Miramar or the former hotel of the southern railway line Quarnero, guests can enjoy modern wellness offers paired with old Austrian flair. Numerous historic buildings shine in new splendor and the Lungomare, the legendary promenade right by the sea, bears the name of Austria’s long-serving emperor, Franz Joseph.