Fiume: Wikis


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City of Rijeka
Grad Rijeka
—  Town  —
View of Rijeka

Coat of arms
City of Rijeka is located in Croatia
City of Rijeka
Location of Rijeka within Croatia
Coordinates: 45°19′N 14°25′E / 45.317°N 14.417°E / 45.317; 14.417Coordinates: 45°19′N 14°25′E / 45.317°N 14.417°E / 45.317; 14.417
Country Croatia
County Primorje-Gorski Kotar County
 - Mayor Vojko Obersnel (SDP)
 - Town 44 km2 (17 sq mi)
 - Metro 788 km2 (304 sq mi)
Elevation 0 - 499 m (0 - 1,561 ft)
Population (2001)
 - Town 144,043
 Density 3,273/km2 (8,477/sq mi)
 Metro 218,925
 - Metro Density 277/km2 (720/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 51000
Area code(s) 051
Patron saints St. Vitus

Rijeka (Italian and Hungarian Fiume, other Croatian dialects: Reka or Rika, Slovene: Reka, German: Sankt Veit am Flaum or Pflaum (both historical) ) is the principal seaport of Croatia, located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. It has 144,043 (2001) inhabitants[citation needed]. The majority of its citizens, 80.39% (2001 census), are Croats. The Croatian and the Italian version of the city's name mean river in each of the two languages.[1]

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




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 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 means "the big river") as Flumen. Pliny mentioned Tarsatica (Natural History iii.140).

From the 5th century onwards, the town was ruled successively by the Ostrogoths, the Byzantines, the Lombards, the Avars, the Franks, the Croats and the Hungarians before coming under the control of the Austrian Habsburgs in 1466. [1]

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 got its Croatian name, Rika svetoga Vida (= the river of St. Vitus).

Medieval Rijeka was a city surrounded by a wall and was thus a feudal stronghold. The fort was in the center of the city, at its highest point. It was protected by massive walls against external enemies but also against enemies within - the citizens of the Rijeka.

Under Habsburg sovereignty

Rijeka around the year 1900
The Baroque city clock tower above the arched gateway linking the Korzo to the inner city, designed by Filbert Bazarig in 1876

Created as a free port in 1723, Rijeka during the 18th and 19th centuries was passed among the Habsburgs' Austrian, Croatian, and Hungarian possessions until being attached to Hungary for the third and last time in 1870. Although Croatia had constitutional autonomy within Hungary, the City of Rijeka was independent, governed (as a corpus separatum) 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. 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 the most 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 Hungarian and Austrian railway networks. Modern industrial and commercial enterprises such as the Royal Hungarian Sea Navigation Company "Adria", and the Papermill, situated in the Rječina canyon, producing worldwide known cigarette paper, became trademarks of the city.

In 1866, Robert Whitehead, manager of Stabilimento Tecnico Fiumano (an Austrian engineering company engaged in providing engines for the Austro-Hungarian Navy), experimented on the first torpedo. The population grew from only 21,000 in 1880 to 50,000 in 1910. A lot of major civic buildings went up at that time, including the Governor's Palace designed 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.

The Italo-Yugoslav dispute and the Free State

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 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 Serbian occupation, an international force of Italian, French, British and American troops occupied the city (November 1918) while its future was discussed at the Paris Peace Conference during the course of 1919.[2]

Italy based its claim on the fact that Italians were the largest single nationality within the city, 88% of total. Croats made up most of the remainder and were also a majority in the surrounding area, including the neighbouring town of Sušak.[3] 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.

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.[4]

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 Rijeka/Fiume, under a regime acceptable to both.[5] 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 a five days resistance. 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 (27 January 1924), which assigned Rijeka to Italy and Sušak to Yugoslavia, with joint port administration.[6] Formal Italian annexation (16 March 1924) inaugurated twenty years of Italian government, followed by twenty months of German military occupation in World War II. The city was heavily damaged during the war by a number of Anglo-American air attacks,[citation needed] including a January 12, 1944 Oil Campaign attack on the oil refinery.[2] The harbour area was destroyed by retreating German troops. Yugoslav troups entered the city on May 3, 1945.

Post World War II

The aftermath of the war 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. The city of Rijeka thus became Croatian (i.e., Yugoslav), 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 left in advance of the Yugoslav army, choosing exile (known in Italian as esuli or the exiled ones). The discrimination and persecution many of them experienced at the hands of the Croatian populace and officials in the last days of World War II and the first weeks of peace remain painful memories. Summary executions of alleged fascists, Italian public servants, military officials and even normal civilians, forced most ethnic Italians to abandon Rijeka in order to avoid this class and ethnic cleansing.

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.

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 in traces). There are 22 days a year with maximum of 30 °C (86 °F) or higher, while one day a year 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 bura (bora) winds are common in winter time.

There are 1922.5 hours of sunshine per year. Maximum is in July with 297.6 hours, while minimum is in December with 97.8 hours of sunshine.

Climate data for Rijeka
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.0
Average high °C (°F) 8.3
Average low °C (°F) 2.8
Record low °C (°F) -11.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 131.8
Avg. precipitation days 10 9 10 12 12 11 9 9 10 11 13 11 127
Source: [7] {{{accessdate}}}
Source #2: Ridjanovic and others: Geografija SR Hrvatske 5, Skolska knjiga, Zagreb, 1975, page 84 {{{accessdate2}}}

Main sights

Tvornica "Torpedo" (the Torpedo factory): The first European prototypes of a self-propelled torpedo were 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.

Inside the Sanctuary of the Trsatian Madonna

Svetište Majke Božje Trsatske (Sanctuary of the Trsatian Madonna): (Zvijezda mora, Kraljica Jadrana, zaštitnica putnika—Star of the sea, Queen of Adriatic, protector of the travelers.) Built 135 meters above the sea on the Trsat hill 7 centuries ago, it represents the Guardian of Travelers, especially seamen, who bring offerings to her so she will guard them or help them in time of trouble or illness. Among other points of interest are the Gothic sculpture of (Gospa Slunjska) the Madonna of Slunj and works by the Baroque painter C. Tasce.

Stara vrata, Rimski luk (Old gate, 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 (St. Vitus).


Rijeka railway station
Ferry in Rijeka harbour.

Port of Rijeka was rush-built by Austro-Hungary in World War I and was completed in 1918, just before the collapse of the Dual Monarchy. The cost was more than 800.000 Kronen.

Rijeka is the largest port in Croatia. According to the Rijeka Port Authority, its total throughput cargo in 2007 was more than 13 million tons and is rapidly increasing.

Rijeka has efficient road connections to other parts of Croatia and neighbouring countries. The A6 highway runs between Rijeka and Zagreb, Croatia; a shorter stretch connecting Rijeka with the Slovenian border, part of the A7 highway, was completed in 2004. Rijeka gains access to the B8/B9 Istrian Y expressway network by means of the Učka Tunnel, which currently has only one lane of traffic in each direction. An intricate series of high-capacity bypass and connection roads is currently under construction. The eastern half of this project was due to open on 15 July 2006, and the more complex western half is to open 2 years later.

The city is difficult to get to by air; it has its own international airport, but it is located on the nearby island of Krk with a toll bridge in-between. Handling only 130,000 passengers in 2005, and projected to handle only 250,000 by 2008, the facility is more of a charter airport than a serious transport hub, although various scheduled airlines have begun to serve it.

Rijeka is well integrated into the Croatian railway network and critical international rail lines. A fully-electrified line connects Rijeka with Zagreb and beyond towards Koprivnica and the Hungarian border as part of the pan-European Vb corridor. Rijeka is also connected to Trieste and Ljubljana by a separate electrified stretch that extends northwards from the city. A transport bill, to have been passed by the Croatian Parliament in July 2006, was to see the start of construction along the aforementioned 5b corridor of Croatia's first high-speed rail line, making possible speeds nearing 250 km/h (160 mph). Construction on the new line was to start in 2007 and is slated to be completed by 2013. Higher speeds on this line will mean a trip from Rijeka to Zagreb will take about an hour, as opposed to the current three or four hours. Rijeka is well connected by direct train daily train to Vienna, to Munich in Germany or Salzburg in Austria, and there are direct night trains running to Rijeka from these two cities.

Good ferry connections with the surrounding islands and cities within Croatia exist in Rijeka, but no direct foreign connections. There are twice-weekly coastal routes to Split, and onwards to Dubrovnik which has international connections. Pula offers more direct southward connections from northwestern Croatia.


New Kantrida Pool, site of the 2008 European Short Course Swimming Championships

Rijeka was the host of 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 have been 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.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Rijeka is twinned with:


See also




  1. ^
  2. ^ Stanislav Krakov, Dolazak srpske vojske na Rijeku i severni Jadran, Beograd: Jadranska Straza,1928/29;[The Arrival of the Serbian Army in Fiume and the Northern Adriatic
  3. ^ Anonymous, 1919. Reka-Fiume : notes sur l'histoire, la langue et la statistique, Beograd.
  4. ^ Ledeen, Michael A. 1977. The First Duce. D’Annunzio at Fiume, Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  5. ^ Federzoni, Luigi. Il Trattato di Rapallo, Bologna, Zanichelli, 1921.
  6. ^ Benedetti, Giulio. La pace di Fiume, Bologna, Zanichelli, 1924.
  7. ^ "DHMZ". 

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

FIUME (Sla y. Rjeka, Rieka or Reka, Ger. St Veit am Flaum), a royal free town and port of Hungary; situated at the northern extremity of the Gulf of Quarnero, an inlet of the Adriatic, and on a small stream called the Rjeka, Recina or Fiumara, 70 m. by rail S.E. of Trieste. Pop. (1900) 38,955; including 17,354 Italians, 14,885 Sla y s (Croats, Serbs and Slovenes), 2482 Hungarians and 1945 Germans. Geographically, Fiume belongs to Croatia; politically the town, with its territory of some 7 sq. m., became a part of Hungary in August 1870. The picturesque old town occupies an outlying ridge of the Croatian Karst; while the modern town, with its wharves, warehouses, electric light and electric trams, is crowded into the amphitheatre left between the hills and the shore. On the north-west there is a fine public garden. The most interesting buildings are the cathedral church of the Assumption, founded in 1377, and completed with a modern facade copied from that of the Pantheon in Rome; the church of St Veit, on the model of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice; and the Pilgrimage church, hung with offerings from shipwrecked sailors, and approached by a stairway of 400 steps. In the old town is a Roman triumphal arch, said to have been erected during the 3rd century A.D. in honour of the emperor Claudius II. Fiume also possesses a theatre and a music-hall; palaces for the governor and the Austrian emperor; a high court of justice for commerce and marine; a chamber of commerce; an asylum for lunatics and the aged poor; an industrial home for boys; and several large schools, including the marine academy (1856) and the school of seamanship (1903). Municipal affairs are principally managed by the Italians, who sympathize with the Hungarians against the Slays.

Fiume is the only seaport of Hungary, with which country it was connected, in 1809, by the Maria Louisa road, through Karlstadt. It has two railways, opened in 1873; one a branch of the southern railway from Vienna to Trieste, the other of the x. 15 Hungarian state railway from Karlstadt. There are several harbours, including the Porto Canale, for coasting vessels; the Porto Baross, for timber; and the Porto Grande, sheltered by the Maria Theresia mole and breakwater, besides four lesser moles, and flanked by the quays, with their grain-elevators. The development of the Porto Grande, originally named the Porto Nuovo, was undertaken in 1847, and carried on at intervals as trade increased. In 1902, arrangements were made for the construction of a new mole and an enlargement of the quays and breakwater; these works to be completed within 5 years, at a cost of £420,000. The exports, worth £6,460,000 in 1902, chiefly consisted of grain, flour, sugar, timber and horses; the imports, worth £3,678,000 in the same year, of coal, wine, rice, fruit, jute and various minerals, chemicals and oils. A large share in the carrying trade belongs to the Cunard, Adria, UngaroCroat and Austrian Lloyd Steamship Companies, subsidized by the state. A steady stream of Croatian and Hungarian emigrants, officially numbered in 1902 at 7500, passes through Fiume. Altogether 11,550 vessels, of 1,963,000 tons, entered at Fiume in 1902; and 11,535, of 1,956,000, cleared. Foremost among the industrial establishments are Whitehead's torpedo factory, Messrs Smith & Meynie's paper-mill, the royal tobacco factory, a chemical factory, and several flour-mills, tanneries and rope manufactories. In 1902 the last shipbuilding yard was closed. The soil of the surrounding country is stony, but the climate is warm, and wine is extensively produced. The Gulf of Quarnero yields a plentiful supply of fish, and the tunny trade with Trieste and Venice is of considerable importance. Steamboats ply daily from Fiume to the Istrian health-resort of Abbazia, the Croatian port of Buccari, and the islands of Veglia and Cherso.

Fiume is supposed to occupy the site of the ancient Liburnian town Tersatica; later it received the name of Vitopolis, and eventually that of Fanum Sancti Viti ad Flumen, from which its present name is derived. It was destroyed by Charlemagne in 799, from which time it probably long remained under the dominion of the Franks. It was held in feudal tenure from the patriarch of Aquileia by the bishop of Pola, and afterwards, in 1139, by the counts of Duino, who retained it till the end of the 14th century. It next passed into the hands of the counts of Wallsee, by whom it was surrendered in 1471 to the emperor Frederick III., who incorporated it with the dominions of the house of Austria. From this date till 1776 Fiume was ruled by imperial governors. In 1723 it was declared a free port by Charles VI., in 1776 united to Croatia by the empress Maria Theresa, and in 1779 declared a corpus separatum of the Hungarian crown. In 1809 Fiume was occupied by the French; but it was retaken by the British in 1813, and restored to Austria in the following year. It was ceded to Hungary in 1822, but after the revolution of 1848-1849 was annexed to the crown lands of Croatia, under the government of which it remained till it came under Hungarian control in 1870.

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