About Rijeka

Population - 128,624

The oldest traces of human existence in today’s Rijeka area date back to the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods. In the 3rd century, the Romans built a city, named Tarsatica, next to the sea. Avars and Slavs began to settle in Rijeka in the 6th–7th century, and developed what is now the “Stari Grad” (old city) on the right bank of the Rječina by the 10th century. In the 13th century, the Slavic settlers conquered the Roman city, Tarsatica, and began forming a new settlement. This Rijeka was a small, fortified town, compact inside its walls with several defense towers, divided into two parts: in the upper part is the medieval castle and St. Vitus church, and the lower settlement whose inhabitants called it Rika or Rijeka. Both at the beginning and at the end of 14th century, Rijeka was ruled by Devin noblemen, princes of Krk (later the Frankopans), then by the Walsee family and, since 1466, by the Habsburg family. During that period Rijeka had around 3000 inhabitants. Because of frequent Ottoman attacks, the wars for the Hungarian throne, and the eternal conflicts between the Uskoci and the Venetians, the traffic routes were continuously interrupted. As a result, the golden period of Rijeka’s commerce suddenly weakened during the second half of 15th century, and continued until the second half of the 17th century. In 1848, the town was appointed by Banship Josip Jelačić for Rijeka Governor directly to the Banska Croatia as a reward for the suppression of the Protestants rebellion in Central Europe. In 1870, Rijeka was completely annexed to Hungary. On November 12,1920, Italy and Yugoslavia signed the Treaty of Rapallo, forming the Free State of Fiume as a consequence to an occupation of Rijeka by Gabriele DAnnunzio and his troops which began with the Impresa di Fiume. As a forerunner to Benito Mussolini and staunch supporter of the Italian fascist movement, DAnnunzio refused to accept the handing over of Fiume at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. He also refused to accept an ultimatum forced upon him to abandon Rijeka and denunciate the Treaty of Rapallo as illegal, as a result provoked a blockade of the city by the Italian forces under the Kingdom of Italy. Immediately following the blockade, DAnnunzio declared war on Italy, further provoking a backlash from the Italian forces, resulting in a cannonade from the Royal Navy. General Enrico Caviglia led his troops against the city, beginning on 24 December 1920 and after just five days occupied the city. Following the defeat of dAnnunzios forces, there was an election of the Constituent Assembly, giving separatists 65% of the vote. On 5 October 1921, Riccardo Zanella became the first and only elected president of the short lived Free State of Fiume, however this was unable to end disputes over the city. Seven months later in Rome, Mussolini became prime minister, and Italy was heading towards a fascist regime. As a result, Zanella was overthrown in a fascist putsch by local fascists in March 1922, resulting in a third Italian military occupation of the city. This period of diplomatic tension ended with the Treaty of Rome on 27 January 1924, which assigned Fiume to Italy and Susak along with other villages, to Yugoslavia, with joint port administration.

WHOThe current president of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, was born in Rijeka. She was elected into office in 2015. She is Croatia’s first woman president, and is also the youngest person to ever enter the office. WHENThe Rijeka Carnival is held each year before Lent in Rijeka. The carnival was established in 1982, and it has become the biggest carnival in Croatia. WHEREFrom Trsat castle’s viewpoint you can see whole Rijeka town and two islands. WHATRijeka gets more rainfall than London per year.

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