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This article is about the city in Croatia. For other uses, see Rijeka (disambiguation).
Rijeka, Croatia

Coat of arms
Latitude 45.33°N
Longitude 14.44°E
Mayor Vojko Obersnel
Surface (km²) 675
140,469 [1]
Time zone (UTC) UTC+1 Central European Time

Rijeka (in local Croatian dialects Rika and Reka; Fiume in Italian and Hungarian, Reka in Slovene; Sankt Veit am Flaum in older German; Folyómszentvít in Hungarian; Rijeka and Fiume both mean river) is the principal seaport of Croatia, located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. It has 144,043 inhabitants (240,000 for greater area in 2001) and is Croatia's third largest city. The majority of its citizens are Croats with 80.39% (2001 census).

Rijeka is the center of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County in Croatia. The city's economy largely depends on sea transport, shipbuilding (shipyards "3. Maj" and "Viktor Lenac") and tourism.

Rijeka hosts the Croatian National Theatre "Ivan pl. Zajc", first built in 1765, as well as the University of Rijeka, founded in 1632. The local football (soccer) clubs are NK Rijeka and NK Orijent.


[edit] History

Rijeka on the map of Croatia

[edit] Ancient and medieval times

Though traces of Neolithic settlements can be found in the region, the earliest settlements on the site were Celtic Tarsatica (modern Trsat, now part of Rijeka) on a hill and the tribe of mariners, the Liburni in the natural harbor below. The city long retained this double character.

In the time of Augustus, the Romans rebuilt Tarsatica as a municipium (MacMullen 2000) on the right bank of the small river Rječina (whose name simply means "river") as Flumen. Pliny mentioned Tarsatica (Natural History iii.140). After the 4th century the city was rededicated as Flumen Sancti Viti, the city's patron saint. From the 5th century onwards, the town came under successive Frankish, Croatian and Magyar rule before coming under the control of the Austrian Habsburgs in 1466 [2].

[edit] Under Habsburg suzerainty

Image:Fiume 1900.jpg
Fiume about 1900
Image:Rijeka - coat.png
Rijeka's coat of arms under Austrian rule
The Baroque city clock tower above the arched gateway linking the Korzo to the inner city, designed by Filbert Bazarig in 1876

Created a free port in 1723, Fiume was passed during the 18th and 19th centuries among the Habsburgs' Austrian, Croatian, and Hungarian possessions until its attachment to the latter kingdom for the third and last time in 1870. Although Croatia had a constitutional autonomy within Hungary, the City of Fiume was independent, governed directly from Budapest by an appointed governor, as Hungary's only international port. There was competition between Austria's Port of Trieste and Hungary's Port of Fiume.

Major port development, the general expansion of international trade and the city's connection (1873) to the Hungarian and Austrian railway networks contributed to rapid population growth from 21,000 in 1880 to 50,000 in 1910. A lot of major building of the city took place at that time, including the Governor's Palace by the Hungarian architect Alajos Hauszmann. The future mayor of New York City, Fiorello La Guardia, lived in the city at the turn of the 20th century, and reportedly even played football for the local sports club.

[edit] The Italo-Yugoslav dispute and the Free State

Habsburg-ruled Austria-Hungary's defeat and disintegration in the closing weeks of World War I led to the establishment of rival Italian and Croatian administrations in the city as both Italy and the founders of the new Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) claimed sovereignty based on their "irredentist" ("unredeemed") ethnic populations.

After a brief Italian occupation, an international force of French, British and United States troops occupied the city (November 1918) while its future was discussed at the Paris Peace Conference during the course of 1919.

Italy based her claim on the fact that Italians were the largest single nationality within the city. Croats made up most of the remainder, and were also a majority in the surrounding area, including the neighbouring town of Sušak. Negotiations were rudely interrupted by the city's seizure on September 12, 1919 by a force of Italian nationalist irregulars led by the writer Gabriele d'Annunzio, who eventually established a state, the Italian Regency of Carnaro. This happened just two days after the Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed that declared the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy dissolved.

The resumption of Italy's premiership by the Liberal Giovanni Giolitti in June 1920 signaled a hardening of official attitudes to d'Annunzio's coup. On November 12, Italy and Yugoslavia concluded the Treaty of Rapallo, under which Fiume/Rijeka was to be an independent state, the Free State of Fiume/Rijeka, under a regime acceptable to both.

D'Annunzio's response was characteristically flamboyant and of doubtful judgment: his declaration of war against Italy invited the bombardment by Italian royal forces which led to his surrender of the city at the end of the year. Italian troops took over in January 1921. The election of an autonomist-led constituent assembly for the territory did not put an end to strife: a brief Italian nationalist seizure of power was ended by the intervention of an Italian royal commissioner, and a short-lived local Fascist takeover in March 1922 ended in a third Italian military occupation. Seven months later Italy herself fell under Fascist rule.

A period of diplomatic acrimony closed with the Treaty of Rome (January 27, 1924), which assigned Fiume to Italy and Sušak to Yugoslavia, with joint port administration. Formal Italian annexation (March 16, 1924) inaugurated twenty years of Fascist rule and a policy of forced Italianization of the Croatian population, followed by twenty months of German military occupation.

[edit] After World War II

The aftermath of World War II saw the city's fate again resolved by a combination of force and diplomacy. This time, Yugoslav troops advanced (early May 1945) as far west as Trieste in their campaign against the German occupiers of both countries: Fiume finally became Croatian (and until June 1991, Yugoslav) city of Rijeka, a situation formalized by the Paris peace treaty between Italy and the wartime Allies on February 10, 1947. Once the change in sovereignty was formalized, most of the Italian-speaking part of the population fled Tito's communist regime and went into exile (Esuli). The discrimination most of them experienced and the persecution many of them suffered at the hands of the new Yugoslav authorities in the dying days of World War Two and the first weeks of peace were a painful memory for them. Summary executions of hundreds of suspected 'Fascists', Italian public servants, military and ordinary citizens pushed Fiume's Italians to abandon their ancestral home.

[edit] Main sights

HNK Ivana pl. Zajca

Tvornica "Torpedo" (the Torpedo factory) The first European prototypes of a self-propelled torpedo were created by Giovanni Luppis, a retired naval engineer from Fiume/Rijeka. The remains of this factory still exist, including well preserved launch ramp used for testing self propelled torpedoes on which in 1866 first torpedo has been tested.

Svetište Majke Božje Trsatske (Sanctuary of Madonna Trsatian) (Zvijezda mora, Kraljica Jadrana, zaštitnica putnika - Star of the sea, Queen of Adriatic, protector of the travelers.) Build 135 meters above the sea on the hill Trsat 7 centuries ago, it represents keeper of the travelers and especially seamen which bring gifts to madonna so she will guard them or to help them in troubles or illness. Among other gifts especially rises the gothic sculpture of (Gospa Slunjska) Madonna of Slunj and paintings from baroque painter C. Tasce.

Old gate (Stara vrata), Roman arch (Rimski luk) At first it was thought that it was a Roman Triumph Arch but later it was discovered to be just a portal of gates to Pretorij, army command from late antiquity.

[edit] Transportation

Image:Adriatic ferry Rijeka harbour.jpg
Ferry in Rijeka harbour.

Rijeka has very effective and efficient transportation connections to other parts of Croatia and neighboring countries. The A6 Zagreb-Rijeka motorway was completed in 2004; a shorter stretch connecting Rijeka with the Slovenian border, part of the A7 motorway, was also completed in 2004. Rijeka is also connected to the A8/A9 Istrian Y expressway network by the Učka Tunnel. A very intricate series of high-capacity bypass and connection roads are presently being constructed as well. The eastern half of this project will open on 15 July 2006, and the even more complex western half will open 2 years later.

Rijeka has an awkward air connection; it has an international airport of its own, but it is located on the nearby island of Krk. Handling only 130,000 passengers in 2005, and projected to handle only 250,000 by 2008, the airport is more of a charter airport than a serious transportation hub, although various scheduled airlines have commenced services as well. For more information visit Rijeka Airport webpage (, or carrier webpages: ,,

New Corridor 5b Railway Line

Rijeka is well-integrated into the Croatian Railways and critical international lines. A fully electrified line connects Rijeka with Zagreb, and onwards towards Koprivnica and the Hungarian border, as part of the international 5b corridor. It is also connected to Trieste and Ljubljana by a separate electrified stretch that extends northwards from the city. A transportation bill, to be passed by the Croatian Parliament in July 2006, will see the start of construction of Croatia's first high-speed rail line, following the aforementioned 5b corridor, enabling speeds nearing 250 km/h. Construction on the new line starts in 2007 and is slated to be completed by 2010. The speeds of this line will enable a trip from Rijeka to Zagreb in around an hour, as opposed to the current four hours. Rijeka is well connected (direct trains) to Munich in Germany or Salzburg in Austria, and there are direct night trains running to Rijeka from these two cities.

Rijeka has good ferry connections with the surrounding islands and cities within Croatia, but no direct foreign connections. There are daily coastal routes to Zadar, Split, and onwards to Dubrovnik, where more international connections are offered. Pula offers more direct southward connections from northwestern Croatia.

[edit] See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

[edit] External links

Port of Rijeka - one of nowadays inner views

[edit] Source

edit Municipalities of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Image:Flag of Croatia.svg
Bakar | Baška | Brod Moravice | Cres | Crikvenica | Čabar | Čavle | Delnice | Dobrinj | Fužine | Jelenje | Kastav | Klana | Kostrena | Kraljevica | Krk | Lokve | Lovran | Mali Lošinj | Malinska-Dubašnica | Matulji | Mošćenička Draga | Mrkopalj | Novi Vinodolski | Omišalj | Opatija | Punat | Rab | Ravna Gora | Rijeka | Skrad | Vinodolska | Viškovo | Vrbnik | Vrbovsko

ast:Rijeka bs:Rijeka (grad) bg:Риека cs:Rijeka da:Rijeka de:Rijeka et:Rijeka el:Ριέκα es:Rijeka eo:Rijeko fr:Rijeka hr:Rijeka it:Fiume (Croazia) lv:Rijeka hu:Fiume nl:Rijeka ja:リエカ no:Rijeka pl:Rijeka pt:Rijeka ro:Rijeka ru:Риека sk:Rijeka sl:Reka, Hrvaška sr:Ријека (град) sh:Rijeka (grad) fi:Rijeka sv:Rijeka vec:Fiume

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