City of Rijeka
|Nickname(s): Mayor of the Adriatic|
|County||Primorje-Gorski Kotar County|
|• Mayor||Vojko Obersnel (SDP)|
|• City||44 km2 (17 sq mi)|
|• Urban||200 km2 (77 sq mi)|
|• Metro||500 km2 (193 sq mi)|
|Elevation||0–499 m (0 – 1,561 ft)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Rijeka (Croatian pronunciation: [rijɛ̌ːka]; Slovene: Reka; Italian and Hungarian: Fiume; German: Pflaum) is the principal seaport and the third-largest city in Croatia (after Zagreb and Split). It is located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea and has a population of 128,624 inhabitants (2011). The metropolitan area, which includes adjacent towns and municipalities, has a population of 245,054 (2011).
Historically, because of its strategic position and its excellent deep-water port, the city was fiercely contested, especially among Italy, Hungary, and Croatia, changing hands and demographics many times over centuries. According to the 2011 census data, the overwhelming majority of its citizens (82.52%) are Croats, along with small numbers of Bosniaks, Italians and Serbs.
Rijeka is the centre of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The city's economy largely depends on shipbuilding (shipyards "3. Maj" and "Viktor Lenac Shipyard") and maritime transport. Rijeka hosts the Croatian National Theatre "Ivan pl. Zajc", first built in 1765, as well as the University of Rijeka, founded in 1973 but with roots dating back to 1632.
Apart from Croatian, the population also uses its own unique version of the Venetian language (Fiumano), with an estimated 20,000 speakers among the autochtone Croats and various minorities. Historically it served as a lingua franca for the many ethnicities inhabiting the multicultural port-town.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Climate and geography
- 5 Main sights
- 6 Transport
- 7 Sports
- 8 International relations
- 9 Gallery
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The city is known by the Croatian name Rijeka and its variations (Slovene Reka, Croatian dialectal Reka and Rika), as well as by the Italian Fiume. These names mean river in each of the languages. Hungarian also uses the Italian name. Historically it was also called Sankt Veit am Flaum or Pflaum in German, and Tarsatica, Vitopolis, or Flumen in Latin.
Ancient and medieval times
Though traces of Neolithic settlements can be found in the region, the earliest modern settlements on the site were Celtic Tarsatica (modern Trsat, now part of Rijeka) on the hill, and the tribe of mariners, the Liburni, in the natural harbour below. The city long retained its dual character. Pliny mentioned Tarsatica in his Natural History (iii.140).
In the time of Augustus, the Romans rebuilt Tarsatica as a municipium Flumen (MacMullen 2000), situated on the right bank of small river Rječina (whose name means "the big river"). After the 4th century the city was rededicated to St. Vitus, the city's patron saint, as Terra Fluminis sancti Sancti Viti or in German Sankt Veit am Pflaum. In medieval times Rijeka acquired its Croatian name, Rika svetoga Vida ("the river of St. Vitus") when it was a city surrounded by a wall and was thus a feudal stronghold. The fort was in the centre of the city, at its highest point. From the 5th century onwards, the town was ruled successively by the Ostrogoths, the Byzantines, the Lombards, and the Avars. Croats had settled here since the 7th century.
In 799 Rijeka was attacked by the Frankish troops of Charlemagne, their Siege of Trsat was once repulsed, whereby the Frankish commander Margrave Eric of Friuli was killed. However, the Frankish forces finally occupied and devastated the castle, while the Duchy of Croatia passed under the overlordship of the Carolingian Empire. From about 925, the town was part of the Kingdom of Croatia, from 1102 in personal union with Hungary. Trsat Castle and the town was rebuilt under the rule of the House of Frankopan. In 1288 the Rijeka citizens signed the Law codex of Vinodol, one of the oldest codes of law in Europe.
Rijeka even rivalled with Venice when it was purchased by the Habsburg emperor Frederick III, Archduke of Austria in 1466. It would remain under Habsburg overlordship for over 450 years, except for French rule between 1805 and 1813, until its occupation by Italian and Croat irregulars at the end of World War I.
Under Habsburg sovereignty
After coming under Habsburg rule in 1466, the town was attacked and plundered by Venetian forces in 1509. While Ottoman forces attacked the town several times, they never occupied it. From the 16th century onwards, Rijeka was largely rebuilt in its present Renaissance and Baroque style. Emperor Charles VI declared the Port of Rijeka a free port (together with the Port of Trieste) in 1719 and had the trade route to Vienna expanded in 1725.
By order of Empress Maria Theresa in 1779, the city was annexed to the Kingdom of Hungary and governed as corpus separatum directly from Budapest by an appointed governor, as Hungary's only international port. From 1804, Rijeka was part of the Austrian Empire (Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia after the Compromise of 1867), in the Croatia-Slavonia province.
In the early 19th century, the prominent economical and cultural leader of the city was Andrija Ljudevit Adamić. Fiume also had a significant naval base, and in the mid-19th century it became the site of the Austro-Hungarian Naval Academy (K.u.K. Marine-Akademie), where the Austro-Hungarian Navy trained its officers.
Giovanni de Ciotta (mayor from 1872 to 1896) proved to be an authoritative local political leader. Under his leadership, an impressive phase of expansion of the city started, marked by major port development, fuelled by the general expansion of international trade and the city's connection (1873) to the Austro-Hungarian railway network. Modern industrial and commercial enterprises such as the Royal Hungarian Sea Navigation Company "Adria", and the paper mill, situated in the Rječina canyon, producing cigarette paper sold around the world, became trademarks of the city.
The second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century (up to World War I) was a period of rapid economic growth and technological dynamism for Rijeka. The industrial development of the city included the first industrial scale oil refinery in Europe in 1882 and the first torpedo factory in the world in 1866, after Robert Whitehead, manager of the "Stabilimento Tecnico Fiumano" (an Austrian engineering company engaged in providing engines for the Austro-Hungarian Navy), designed and successfully tested the world's first torpedo.
Rijeka also became a pioneering centre for high-speed photography. The Austrian physicist Peter Salcher working in Rijeka's Austro-Hungarian Marine Academy took the first photograph of a bullet flying at supersonic speed in 1886, devising a technique that was later used by Ernst Mach in his studies of supersonic motion.
Rijeka's port underwent tremendous development fuelled by generous Hungarian investments, becoming the main maritime outlet for Hungary and the eastern part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the fifth port in the Mediterranean, after Marseilles, Genoa, Naples and Trieste. The population grew rapidly from only 21,000 in 1880 to 50,000 in 1910. Major civic buildings constructed at this time include the Governor's Palace, designed by the Hungarian architect Alajos Hauszmann. There was an ongoing competition between Rijek and Trieste, the main maritime outlet for Austria - reflecting the rivalry between the two components of the Dual Monarchy. The Austro-Hungarian Navy sought to keep the balance by ordering new warships from the shipyards of both cities.
Apart from the rapid economic growth, the period encompassing the second half of the 19th century and up to World War I also saw a shift in the ethnic composition of the city. The Kingdom of Hungary, which administered the city during that period, favoured the Hungarian element in the city and encouraged immigration from all lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1910, there were 24,000 Italian-speaking, and 13,000 Croat-speaking inhabitants of Rijeka (in addition to the 6,500 Hungarians and several thousands of other nationalities, like Slovenians, Germans, Czechs, Slovaks, Greeks).
The Italo-Yugoslav dispute and the Free State of Fiume
Habsburg-ruled Austria-Hungary's disintegration in the closing weeks of World War I in the fall of 1918 led to the establishment of rival Croatian-Serbian and Italian administrations in the city; both Italy and the founders of the new Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) claimed sovereignty based on their "irredentist" ("unredeemed") ethnic populations.
After a brief military occupation by the Kingdom of Serbs Croats and Slovenes, followed by the unilateral annexation of the former Corpus Separatum by the Kingdom of Serbs Croats and Slovenes, an international force of British, Italian, French and American troops entered the city (November 1918), while its future was discussed at the Paris Peace Conference during the course of 1919.
Italy based its claim on the fact that Italians were the largest single nationality within the city (65% of the total population). Croats made up most of the remainder and were also a majority in the surrounding area, including the neighbouring town of Sušak. Andrea Ossoinack, who had been the last delegate from Fiume to the Hungarian Parliament, was admitted to the conference as a representative of Fiume, and essentially supported the Italian claims. Despite these claims, in the city there was a strong and very active autonomist party, which also had its delegates at the Paris conference.
On 10 September 1919, the Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed declaring the Austro-Hungarian monarchy dissolved. Negotiations over the future of the city were interrupted two days later when a force of Italian nationalist irregulars led by the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio seized control of the city by force; d'Annunzio eventually established a state, the Italian Regency of Carnaro.
The resumption of Italy's premiership by the liberal Giovanni Giolitti in June 1920 signalled a hardening of official attitudes to d'Annunzio's coup. On 12 November, Italy and Yugoslavia concluded the Treaty of Rapallo, under which Rijeka was to be an independent state, the Free State of Fiume, under a government 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, after five days' resistance (known as Bloody Christmas). Italian troops freed the city from d'Annunzio's militias in January 1921.
The subsequent democratic election brought the overwhelming victory of the autonomist party and the election of Rijeka's first president Riccardo Zanella, officially recognized and greeted by all major powers. The creation of a constituent assembly for the new country did not put an end to strife within the city: 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 intervention. Seven months later Italy herself fell under Fascist rule and the fate of Rijeka was set, the fascist party being among the strongest proponents of the annexation of Rijeka to Italy.
A period of diplomatic acrimony closed with the Treaty of Rome (27 January 1924), signed by Italy and Yugoslavia but unrecognized by all other powers, which assigned Rijeka to Italy and Sušak to Yugoslavia, with joint port administration. Formal Italian annexation (16 March 1924) inaugurated twenty years of Italian government.
Rijeka in World War II
At the beginning of World War II Rijeka immediately found itself in an awkward position. The city was overwhelmingly Italian, but its immediate surroundings and the city of Sušak, just across the Rječina river (today a suburb of Rijeka proper) were inhabited almost exclusively by Croatians and part of a potentially hostile power – Yugoslavia. Once the Axis powers invaded Yugoslavia in April 1941, the Croatian areas surrounding the city were occupied by the Italian military, setting the stage for an intense and bloody insurgency which would last until the end of the war. Partisan activity included guerrilla-style attacks on isolated positions or supply columns, sabotage and killings of civilians believed to be connected to the Italian and (later) German authorities. This, in turn, was met by stiff reprisals from the Italian and German military. On 14 July 1942, in reprisal for the killing of 4 civilians of Italian origin by the Partisans, the Italian military killed 100 men from the suburban village of Podhum, resettling the remaining 800 people to concentration camps.
After the surrender of Italy to the Allies in September 1943, Rijeka and the surrounding territories were annexed by Germany, becoming part of the Adriatic Littoral Zone. The partisan activity continued and intensified. On 30 April 1944, in the nearby village of Lipa, German troops killed 263 civilians in reprisal for the killing of several soldiers during a partisan attack.
Because of its industries (oil refinery, torpedo factory, shipyards) and its port facilities, the city was also a target of frequent (more than 30) Anglo-American air attacks, which caused widespread destruction and hundreds of civilian deaths. Some of the worst bombardments happened on 12 January 1944 (attack on the refinery, part of the Oil Campaign), on 3–6 November 1944, when a series of attacks resulted in at least 125 deaths and between 15 and 25 February 1945 (200 dead, 300 wounded).
The area of Rijeka was heavily fortified even before World War II (the remains of these fortifications can be seen today on the city outskirts). This was the fortified border between Italy and Yugoslavia which, at that time, cut across the city area and its surroundings. As Yugoslav troops approached the city in April 1945, one of the fiercest and largest battles in this area of Europe ensued. The 27,000 German and additional Italian troops fought tenaciously from behind these fortifications (renamed "Ingridstellung" – Ingrid Line – by the Germans). Under the command of the German general Ludwig Kübler they inflicted thousands of casualties on the attacking Yugoslav partisans, which were forced to charge uphill against well-fortified positions to the north and east of the city. Ultimately the Germans were forced to retreat. Before leaving the city, in an act of wanton destruction (World War II was almost over), the German troops destroyed the harbour area and other infrastructure with a number of huge explosive charges. However, the German attempt to break out of the partisan encirclement north-west of the city was unsuccessful. Of the approximately 27,000 German and other troops retreating from the city, 11,000 were killed (many were executed after surrendering), while the remaining 16,000 were taken prisoner. Yugoslav troops entered Rijeka on 3 May 1945. The city had suffered extensive damage in the war. The economic infrastructure was almost completely destroyed, and of the 5400 buildings in the city at the time, 2890 (53%) were either completely destroyed or heavily damaged.
Aftermath of World War II
The city's fate was again resolved by a combination of force and diplomacy. This time the city of Rijeka became part of Yugoslavia (within the federal state of Croatia), a situation formalized by the Paris peace treaty between Italy and the wartime Allies on 10 February 1947. Once the change in sovereignty was formalized, 58,000 of the 66,000 Italian speakers were gradually constrained to emigrate (they became known in Italian as esuli istriani or the exiles from Istria) or endure a harsh oppression by the new Yugoslav communist regime during the first decade of its existence, when the communist party adopted a Stalinist approach to the local ethnic question.
The discrimination and persecution many inhabitants experienced at the hands of the Yugoslav populace and officials in the last days of World War II and the first years of peace still remain painful memories for the exiled ones and somewhat of a taboo for Rijeka's political elites which still deny the events. Summary executions of alleged fascists (often proven anti-fascists or apolitical), aimed at hitting the intellectual class, Italian public servants, military officials and even ordinary civilians (at least 650 executions of Italians took place immediately after the war), and forced most ethnic Italians to leave Rijeka in order to avoid being a victim of harsher forms of ethnic cleansing. The removal was a meticulously-organized operation, aimed at convincing the hardly assimilable Italians to leave the country, as testified decades later by representatives' of the Yugoslav leadership.
Only one third of the original population (mostly Croats) remained in the city, and subsequently the city was resettled by many immigrants from various parts of Yugoslavia, changing the city demographics once again. A period of reconstruction began. During the period of the Yugoslav communist administration in the 1950s–1980s the city grew both demographically and economically, based on its traditional manufacturing industries, its maritime economy and its port, then the largest in Yugoslavia. However, many of these industries were mostly a product of a socialist planned economy and could not be sustained once the economy transitioned to a more market-oriented model in the early 1990s.
In 1991 Yugoslavia broke apart, and the federal state of Croatia became independent during the Croatian War of Independence. Since then, the city has somewhat stagnated both economically as well as demographically, with some of its largest industries and employers either going out of business (the Jugolinija shipping company, the torpedo factory, the paper mill and many other medium or small manufacturing and commercial companies) or struggling to stay economically viable (the city's landmark 3. Maj shipyards). A difficult and uncertain transition of the city's economy away from manufacturing and towards the service industry and tourism is still in progress.
of the City of Rijeka
|Source: Naselja i stanovništvo Republike Hrvatske 1857–2001, DZS, Zagreb, 2005|
In the census of 2011, city proper had a population of 128,624, which include:
The following table lists the city's population, along with the population of ex-municipality (disbanded in 1995), the urban and the metropolitan area. The ex-municipality includes the cities/municipalities of Rijeka, Kastav, Viškovo, Klana, Kostrena, Čavle, Jelenje, Bakar and Kraljevica. The urban area includes the ex-municipality along with adjacent cities/municipalities of Opatija, Lovran, Mošćenička Draga, and Matulji, which form urban agglomeration. The metro area, which also includes cities/municipalities of Crikvenica, Novi Vinodolski, Vinodolska, Lokve, Fužine, Delnice and Omišalj, which all gravitate to the City and are within 30 km of down town, has a population of 245,054.
Some notable people from Fiume/Rijeka:
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Psychology Professor at Claremont Graduate University, known as the architect of the notion of flow
- Diana Haller, opera singer
- János Kádár, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Communist Party, served for more than 30 years as leader of Hungary
- Ödön von Horváth, playwright, author of the Tales from the Vienna Woods
- Leo Valiani, Italian historian, politician and journalist
- Ivan Zajc, Croatian composer
- Robert Ludvigovich Bartini, Italian aircraft designer and scientist
- Giovanni Luppis, was a Croatian-Italian officer of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, inventor of the torpedo
- Ezio Loik, Italian footballer, member of the Grande Torino team which won 5 consecutive Serie A titles in the 1940s
- Petar Radaković, Croatian footballer of the 1960s
- Ulderico Sergo, Italian professional boxer, gold medalist at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin
- Paul Felix Nemenyi, Hungarian mathematician and physicist, probable biological father of world chess champion Bobby Fischer
- Janko Polić Kamov, Croatian writer and poet
- Abdon Pamich, Italian race walker, gold medalist at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics
- Josip Bozanić, Croatian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
- Dino Ciani, Italian pianist
Climate and geography
Rijeka's position overlooking the Kvarner Bay with its islands (Cres, Krk) on the south, the Učka mountain on the west, the mountains of Gorski Kotar to the north and the Velebit range to the east offers an impressive natural setting.
The terrain configuration, with mountains rising steeply just a few miles inland from the shores of the Adriatic, provides for some striking climatic and landscape contrasts within a small geographic area. Beaches can be enjoyed throughout summer in a typically Mediterranean setting along the coastal areas of the city to the east (Pećine, Kostrena) and west (Kantrida, Preluk). At the same time, the ski resort of Platak, located only about 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) from the city, offers alpine skiing and abundant snow during winter months (at times until early May). The Kvarner Bay and its islands are visible from the ski slopes.
Rijeka has a Humid subtropical climate with warm summers and relatively mild and rainy winters. Snow is rare (usually 3 days per year, almost always occurring in patches). There are 22 days a year with a maximum of 30 °C (86 °F) or higher, while on one day a year the temperature does not exceed 0 °C (32 °F). Fog appears in about 4 days per year, mainly in winter. The climate is also characterized by frequent rainfall. Cold (bora) winds are common in wintertime.
|Climate data for Rijeka|
|Record high °C (°F)||20.0
|Average high °C (°F)||9.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||6.6
|Average low °C (°F)||3.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−11.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||128.7
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||8.6||7.0||7.7||9.6||9.2||9.4||5.9||7.0||8.6||9.7||9.6||8.8||101.1|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 1 cm)||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||4|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||108.9||124.5||149.9||176.3||235.4||252.3||298.4||274.6||204.2||163.9||102.8||96.9||2,188.1|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organisation (UN)|
|Source #2: National Meteorological and Hydrological Service (Croatia) |
||75 km (47 mi) to Trieste||114 km (71 mi) to Ljubljana||167 km (104 mi) to Zagreb|
|14 km (9 mi) to Opatija||580 km (360 mi) to Belgrade|
|106 km (66 mi) to Pula||75 km (47 mi) to Cres||35 km (22 mi) to Crikvenica|
- Tvornica "Torpedo" (the Torpedo factory). The first European prototypes of a self-propelled torpedo, created by Giovanni Luppis, a retired naval engineer from Rijeka. The remains of this factory still exist, including a well-preserved launch ramp used for testing self-propelled torpedoes on which in 1866 the first torpedo was tested.
- Svetište Majke Božje Trsatske – the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Trsat. Built 135 m (443 ft) above sea level on the Trsat hill during the late Middle Ages, it represents the Guardian of Travellers, especially seamen, who bring offerings to her so she will guard them or help them in time of trouble or illness. It is home to the Gothic sculpture of the Madonna of Slunj and to works by the Baroque painter C. Tasce.
- Old gate or Roman arch. At first it was thought that this was a Roman Triumphal Arch built by the Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus but later it was discovered to be just a portal to the pretorium, the army command in late antiquity.
- Rijeka Cathedral, dedicated to St. Vitus.
The Port of Rijeka is the largest port in Croatia, with a cargo throughput in 2013 of over 9 million tonnes, most of which was oil, general cargo and bulk cargo and 131,310 TEUs. In 2008 the Port of Rijeka recorded 4376 ship arrivals. The port is managed by the Port of Rijeka Authority. The first record of a port in Rijeka date back to 1281, and in 1719, the Port of Rijeka was granted a charter as a free port. Good ferry connections with the surrounding islands and cities within Croatia exist in Rijeka, but no direct foreign passenger ship connections. There are coastal lines to Split and onwards to Dubrovnik operated twice a week, which has international connections. Pula offers more direct southward connections from northwestern Croatia.
Rijeka has efficient road connections to other parts of Croatia and neighbouring countries. The A6 motorway connects Rijeka to Zagreb via the A1, while the A7 motorway, completed in 2004, links Rijeka with Ljubljana, Slovenia via Ilirska Bistrica and Italy. The A7 acts as the Rijeka bypass motorway and facilitates access to the A8 motorway of the Istrian Y network starting with the Učka Tunnel, and linking Rijeka with Istria. As of August 2011, the bypass is being extended eastwards to the Krk Bridge area and new feeder roads are under construction.
The city is difficult to get to by air; the city's own international airport, Rijeka Airport is located on the nearby island of Krk across the tolled Krk Bridge. Handling only 140,000 passengers in 2013, the facility is more of a charter airport than a serious transport hub, although various scheduled airlines have begun to serve it.
Rijeka is integrated into the Croatian railway network and international rail lines. A fully electrified railway connects Rijeka to Zagreb and beyond towards Koprivnica and the Hungarian border as part of Pan-European corridor Vb. Rijeka is also connected to Trieste and Ljubljana by a separate electrified line that extends northwards from the city. Rijeka is has direct connections by daily trains to Vienna, Munich, and Salzburg, and night trains running through Rijeka. Construction of a new high performance railway between Rijeka and Zagreb, extending to Budapest is planned, as well as rail links connecting Rijeka to the island of Krk and between Rijeka and Pula.
Rijeka was host to the 2008 European Short Course Swimming Championships. In its more than 80 years of history, LEN had never seen so many records set as the number of them set at the Kantrida Swimming Complex. A total of 14 European Records were set of which 10 World Records and even 7 World Best Times. This championship also presented a record in the number of participating countries. There were more than 600 top athletes, from some 50 European countries. Swimmers from 21 nations won medals and 40 of the 51 national member Federations of LEN were present in Rijeka.
HNK Rijeka is Rijeka's main football team, currently playing in the first Croatian division. Rijeka's other important sports clubs are RK Zamet (handball), VK Primorje EB (waterpolo), KK Kvarner (basketball) and ŽOK Rijeka (women's volleyball).
Twin towns — Sister cities
Rijeka is twinned with:
- Charter of Carnaro was the constitution of the Italian Regency of Carnaro, a short-lived government in Fiume (Rijeka)
- Drenova, Rijeka
- Fiume (disambiguation)
- Ilario Carposio
- List of governors and heads of state of Fiume
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- "Aktivnosti". kvarner.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 14 November 2014.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rijeka.|
- Rijeka travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Official website
- Port of Rijeka Authority
- Old Postcards of Fiume
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Fiume". Encyclopædia Britannica 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 449,450.