See Rijeka on Croatian map
The town of Rijeka Croatia is an important business, trade, industrial and cultural centre in the western part of the Republic of Croatia. It is the number 3 biggest city in Croatia and has about 200.000 inhabitants.
It is located on the Adriatic, at a point where the sea has made its deepest incision into the European continent. Due to its natural and geo-political characteristics the area is ideally situated for harbour and shipping centre development. In addition to activities related to the sea, such as tourism, shipping industries, forwarding agencies, harbour activities and shipbuilding, Rijeka within its wide boundaries also boasts numerous other major industries; civil- mechanical- electro- engineering, oil and petro-chemical, timber, pulp and paper industries all feature in Rijeka's business portfolio.
However, the largest part of economy is concentrated, apart from tourism, on export. There are business and trade connections with more than 80 countries throughout the world.
Rijeka began to evolve during the 13th century, however, the most significant development was from 1728 onwards, when the Caroline road towards Zagreb was built, and the construction of a railway link was completed. Being connected with the entire central Europe via Zagreb, Rijeka has become one of the leading harbours on the Mediterranean sea.
The port of Rijeka has a long maritime history and has been utilized as a cargo transit port since ancient times, linking middle Europe with numerous countries throughout the world. The annual turnover is some 20 million tons of miscellaneous cargo.
The harbour has good communications with the hinterland and substantial working and warehousing capacity in the area of more than 1 500 000 m2, furnished with modern transport facilities.
Kvarner bay and Istrian riviera, with more than 50% of the entire tourist capacity of Croatia, represent the most developed parts of the country as far as tourism is concerned. This region has a long tradition in tourism, dating back to the 19th century. Its specific geo-topographical position ensures a very pleasant climate with hot summers and mild winters. The average annual temperature is some 14°C and the region enjoys more than 2100 hours of sunshine. The mild climate, beautiful scenery and hospitality contribute to the attractiveness of the region.
The extremely rugged coastline with numerous gentle bays is perfect for swimming and other aquatic activities. Naturally, there is a great demand for nautical tourism. In Kvarner, the Istrian Riviera and the associated islands there are some 16 marinas and numerous small ports with a total mooring area of 500 670 m2 being available. The capacity of the marinas alone is 4 800 aquatic moorings with a further 1700 dry docks.
Furthermore, facilities are accompanied and refreshed by cultural and social events such as concerts, music festivals, sports competitions, beauty contests and folk festivities comprising local folklore and specific gastronomic delights.
Activities | Being a coastal town Rijeka boasts a wide diversity of sporting activities. Aquatic sports include sailing regattas, internationally renown spear fishing contests, sub-aqua sea fishing competitions, swimming and water polo. 30 km from Rijeka the mountains offer opportunities for the hiking, mountaineering, hunting and coarse game fishing enthusiasts.
During the winter months the mountains are covered with snow and provide suitable slopes for the amateur and professional skier alike. The town itself has two professional football teams and numerous other sporting clubs; basketball, hockey, handball, tennis, badminton and the local version of bowling.
Things worth seeing
City Museum | The city museum of Rijeka was founded on 11 April 1994. It is situated in a building that was constructed in 1976, in the courtyard of the Governer's Palace.
It is engaged in systematic collections, professional and scientific analysis of museum material as well as systematization of collected works, museum presentations and publishing information about its work.
The museum has eleven collections: Art collection, Arts and crafts, Documentary material
Numismatics, securities, medals and decorations, Collections of arms and items from the 2nd World War and the War of Independence, Cinema and theatre material, Philately, Photographs, Printing, Technical, Miscellaneous
The museum does not have a permanent display of collections but they are open for inspection and analysis every working day of the week.
Muzejski trg 1/1
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10.00 -13.00 hours, Saturday and Sunday closed.
St.Sebastian's Church | If you do not opt for the several hours' contemplation of the Calvary, turn west at the cathedral portal and you will soon find yourself in front of the church of St. Sebastian, protector from the plague. The inscription above the harmonious High Renaissance portal reveals the year 1562 as the year of foundation, and Ivan Dotiæ as its founder. However, there are some indications that this place of worship might be of an even much earlier date. Several similar small churches had existed in the Old Town, but were ruined after the brotherhoods that supported them ceased to exist.
Museum of modern art | Museum of Modern and Contemporary art, established in 1948, is a gallery and a museum. It collects and preserves the work of Rijeka's artists from the 19th century as well as Croatian and foreign artists from the 20th and 21st. centuries.
Due to lack of suitable exhibition premises, there is no permanent museum display. Works from collections dealing with some theme, issue or monographic exhibitions are displayed from time to time.
The museum organises periodically one-man and joint exhibitions of Croatian and foreign authors, researches and arranges retrospective shows of less well-known Croatian artists, displays work of young artists and exhibits work of Croatian contemporary artists abroad. Along with this, it organises lectures and discussions on current themes from the field of modern and contemporary art, authorial and documentary videos as well as film projections and educational programmes with larger exhibitions.
Gallery of contemporary arts Rijeka - MMSU
Address: Dolac 1/II
Opening hours: 10.00 - 13.00 and 17.00 - 20.00 hours : closed on Mondays.
Address: Korzo 24
Opening hours: 10.00 - 13.00 and 17.00 - 20.00 hours every day
National Historic Museum | The Natural History Museum Rijeka is the first regional museum in this area. It was founded on 16 May 1876 and was opened to the public on 1 May 1946. It is situated in Vladimir Nazor park near the Governor's Palace in the family house of Count Negrone.
The activities of this establishment are linked to collecting, preparing and preserving natural history objects from the area of Kvarner, Istra and Gorski Kotar. Through a permanent museum display from original material, one can discover more about the natural heritage, history of research as well as the state and protection of Rijeka area. If required, an expert guide is available on request for a tour of the exhibits.
In the collections and storerooms of the museum, one can find rare and well preserved specimens. In the entire inventory there are 90,000 specimens, arranged in 24 collections.
The professional museum library holds 4,260 books in its possesion. The following exhibitions are on permanent display in the Natural History museum: Methodology of Research in Oceanography, the Geological History of the Adriatic Sea, the Geology of Rijeka and its surrounding area, the Systematics of Minerals, Seaborn Invertebrate, Sharks and Rays, the Osteichthyes fish and Multimedial aquarium centre. Work is also being carried out in rooms for displaying Insects, Reptiles and Amphibians, Birds and Mammals of Rijeka and the surrounding area.
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 09-19; Sundays 09-15
Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas | The Tourist Route then takes you north, past the Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, designed by the Rijeka architect I. Hencke (after whom the street has been named). There is nothing on the church exterior that reveals its confessional particularity; the construction is purely late Austrian Baroque. The location of the church was precisely defined by the town plan, but the legend wants it otherwise. According to it, the Governor of Rijeka responded in anger to persistent demands of the local Orthodox community by issuing it a special 'location permit'. Standing on what was then the sea shore in front of the Clock Tower, he is said to have thrown a stone as far as he could into the sea saying, 'build your church there', upon which the Orthodox of Rijeka got down to filling up the area. Be that as it may, the truth and the legend remind us how far the filling up of the sea in front of the town had come by the end of the 1700s. Along the north wall of the church, in Adamiæeva Street, lie the so-called Orthodox shops, built in the early 1900s in the pure Secession style by B. Slocovich.
Maritime and Historical museum | The Maritime and Historical Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka acquired two museums - Musea civica - the City Museum and City Museum of Suak. The first dates from the 19th century and its origins relate to the development of museum culture in Rijeka which was enhanced by the donation of a glass to the city by the emperor Franz Joseph I., who expressed a wish that this be deposited in the City Museum. The second - City Museum of Suak - was established in 1934. They were merged in 1951 and given the name the Museum of the Croatian Littoral, in 1953 this was changed to the National Museum and on 28 June 1961 it was finally changed to the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral, which today is located in the Governer's Palace. There are archeological, maritime, ethnographic and cultural-historical sections encompassing rich museum holdings.
A permanent ethnographic display, located on the ground floor, testifies to a fundamental national culture and irrefutable proof of continuation of the Croatian ethnos as well as demonstrating common characteristics of Mediterranean, Dinaric and Alpine cultural circles.
The cultural-historical display is located on the first floor. The White, Red, Green and Yellow showrooms and the Marble State-Room as well as an imposing atrium reflect the former splendour of the palace and the lifestyle of the upper echelons of society at the turn of the century. In the other part of the museum there is a display which represents the style and morphological development of period furniture from Renaissance to historicism. Along with the style and functional value of objects, the visitor will certainly be drawn to a collection of clocks which were made at the beginning of the 18th to the middle of the 20th century.
Throughout the entire display, there is a valuable collection of portraits from well-known public figures of Rijeka, rulers and high-ranking officials. There are also portraits of the rich and famous along with unknown citizens. They offer ample proof of the lifestyle and mentality of Rijeka during that period.
On the first floor there is a memorial collection of Dr. Franjo Kresnik, Suak physician, a first-class expert of Cremona luteria, renowned world-wide as violin makers.
Address: Muzejski trg 1
Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday from 09.00 to 13.00 hours : Sundays and Mondays closed.
University Library | The University Library (custodian of European heritage) was established in 1626 by the Jesuits. They came here from the Austrian town of Judenburg at the invitation of the town council of Rijeka and set up a secondary school complete with courses as well as a library.
The library is situated in Dolac 1., the Zammatia (architect) part, built in 1887. for the requirements of the Hungarian primary school. The building was destroyed in World War II. and rebuilt in 1954.
The library holdings are divided into a few collections, of which the most important are: the Old holdings - rare books and manuscripts, i.e. collection of "Biblioteka civica" with "Fluminensia" (a collection of 40,000 volumes and periodicals), "Adriatica" (a collection of 15,000 volumes and periodicals), Glagolitic, Graphic and Musical collections. The total holdings of the University Library are 305,000 volumes, 70,000 yearly periodicals and 7,000 back files of newspapers. The Library preserves 21 incunabula as well as 600 volumes of documents from the 16th century and other numerous rare documents relating to the town of Rijeka and this part of Europe.
From 1968. there has been a permanent "Glagolitic" exhibition, which displays the Croatian Glagolitic script and printed heritage, especially from the north Adriatic area, where the first Croatian (Glagolitic) books were printed, i.e. the establishment of the first printing presses: in Senj ( 1494.- 1496. and 1507. - 1508.) and in Rijeka ( 1530. - 1531.).
Tel: 336-911 i 336-129
Opening hours: 08.00 till 15.00 every day
St.Vitus' Church | Passing through the historic northern city gate beneath the bell tower of the former Jesuit church, and today cathedral Church of St. Vitus, you re-enter the Old Town. This elevated site in the then densely built urban surroundings was chosen for the building site of the church of St. Vitus, on the spot where a former smaller church of the same saint, patron saint of the city, was found. In their Counter-Reformation aspirations, the Jesuits decided to use the cult of the Miraculous Crucifix from the old church, which, according to the legend, started bleeding when a certain Petar Lonèariæ, angered by a gambling loss, threw a stone at it. The investment was made possible by the generous donation of Ursula von Thanhausen, a countess who donated her lands around Rijeka. The construction of the new church started in 1638 according to the design of the Jesuit architect G. Briani. He drew his inspiration, among other buildings, from the Santa Maria della Salute in Venice. As the investment surpassed the local resources, the building continued for a whole century, and was probably even never fully completed, if we are to judge from the surfaces on its facade that have never been covered in stone. A significant change to the design was brought in 1725, when the constructor B. Martinuzzi added a gallery to the church. An anecdote has it that this was due to the investors' wish not to mix the religious novices with the plebs, especially young girls, during liturgy. The interior of the church is a true Baroque Gesamtkunstwerk, a unity of style that perturbs the Early Gothic crucifix, imbedded in the middle of the main altar. The authors of the profuse marble Baroque sculptures in the interior are masters P. Lazzarini, A. Michelazzi and L. Pacassi. St. Vitus is a unique Baroque rotunda of such monumental dimensions built in Croatia. The church is the only remaining part of a once vast Jesuit complex that included a seminary and a college, but was demolished in the period between the two world wars. The portal of the College has been preserved, however, by being transferred to the deanery next to St. Vitus'. By the main portal of St. Vitus' a cannonball was built into the wall, accompanied by a humorous inscription in Latin, which reads:
ISTA DABAT GALLOS PVLSVRA HINC ANGLIA POMA
Its translation is as follows: This fruit was sent to us by England when it wanted to oust the Gauls from here. This inscription is a testimony of an episode in the Napoleonic wars from 1813. As it is a chronogram, the year can be deciphered by interpreting the larger letters as Roman numbers. The permanent exhibition of Jesuit heritage, mounted on the gallery, can be visited by appointment with the office of the cathedral. As an alternative outing for those with more stamina and several hours extra free, the Ascent of the Calvary proposes itself as an option. Its starting point is easy to find it is the northbound path originating from rtava Faizma Street to the north of the cathedral. On your way up you will meet the remains of Baroque chapels of the Way of the Cross. The atmosphere is completed by the granite cubes and rustic stone carved steps. If you peep through some fences, you may detect several fine examples of summer residences built on the slopes of the Calvary Hill at the turn of the centuries. The very top of the Calvary has been devastated by the construction of skyscrapers, with the remaining parts of stone sculptures being the only remains of its original aspect. In addition to its typical realization in the spirit of Counter-Reformation, Catholic restoration, Rijeka Calvary is as well the Jesuit response to the far older pilgrimage attraction of the Franciscan monastery at Trsat and the Trsat stairs, its integral part. Those who do reach the top, below the skyscrapers, can have a look at the preserved remains of some parts of the Liburnian limes, a system of fortifications built in the late antiquity for protection of the inner part of the Roman Empire, extending from Rijeka (Tarsatica) to the north and enclosing strategic communications. From the top of the Calvary it is easy to reach the cemetery of Kozala, using the severe contours of the Votive Temple (catafalque symbols and candles) as points of orientation. This construction is the most important sacral construction in the 20th century Rijeka. The author of this modernist architecture deftly playing with purified Gothic elements is B. Angheben, a Rijeka architect between the two wars. The cemetery contains numerous mausoleums of historicist and Secession architecture and sculptures erected for noble families of Rijeka at the turn of the centuries.
Back to the top