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Things to do in Rijeka

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Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Coast
The museum is headquartered in the former Governor's Palace, a historicist edifice and protected cultural monument. The Governor's Palace was constructed in 1896 and designed by Alajos Hauszmann, one of the foremost Hungarian architects during the time when Rijeka was under Hungarian rule. Today, the palace houses the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral, which was established in 1961 and comprises maritime, historical and cultural, ethnographic and archaeological departments. Some of the original items from the Governor's Palace, such as furniture and artisan craft-work, have been preserved and exhibited in salons on the first floor. The permanent exhibition of the museum provides an interactive and modern platform for showcasing the long, rich and tumultuous history and culture of living in the area of what is today Primorje-Gorski Kotar County from prehistoric times to the present day. The Lipa Pamti Memorial Centre (Lipa Remembers), which is dedicated to the victims of the Lipa massacre that took place on 30 April 1944, is also a part of the museum. In addition to its memorial heritage, the Memorial Centre interprets the entire cultural, historical and ethnographical heritage of the Liburnian Karst region (Rupa, Pasjak, Šapjane and Brce) from prehistoric times to the present day.
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Natural History Museum Rijeka
The Natural History Museum located within the Nikola Host Park was the first regional museum in the Rijeka area, founded in 1876 when Doctor Joseph Roman Lorenz designed its concept in accordance with Vienna’s Naturhistoriches Museum. Initially, the collection was an integral part of the City Museum, but since 1945 it has operated as an independent institution with rich holdings at its current location, within which there were a zoo and an aquarium until the 1960s. Today, the Museum is oriented towards marine research and has a specialised library in the field of biology, geology and palaeontology. Visitors can enjoy the rich collections and permanent exhibition representing the geological past of the Adriatic, oceanographic research, minerals, marine invertebrates, sharks and rays, the “Aquarium” multimedia centre and reptiles and amphibians from the Rijeka area.
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City Tower Rijeka
City Tower, a symbol of Rijeka and a good example of a typical round tower access-point, which lead into the fortified town. Today it dominates the central part of Korzo, although during its lifetime it was overtopped by more recently constructed buildings. It was built in the Middle Ages, probably on the foundations of the Late Antique littoral town gates. Some baroque phases of its construction can be seen on the lower part of the front of the Tower, which are characterised by a richly decorated portal, an imperial coat of arms carved out of stone and relief of the Austrian emperors Leopold and Charles VI. Rijeka paid them special respect due to the maritime orientation they introduced into the state policies of the Austrian court. The Tower’s superstructure, on which a city clock has been situated since the 17th century, has been remodelled several times; most significantly at the turn of the 18th century under the guidance of municipal engineer A. Gnamb, the last time was at the end of the 19th century, based on a design by F. Bazarig.
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Ivan Kobler Square
Passing under the round City Tower, the former main medieval town entrance that gave access to the coast, you enter the centre of Rijeka’s Old Town. Located in the modern-day Ivan Kobler Square, there was once a more compact municipal centre called Placa, which served the significantly smaller fortified medieval town. The most knowledgeable historical interpretations of Rijeka Town present it as vertically elongated, framed to the north and south by the City Tower and the Town Hall, and to the east and west by chains of houses. The northern part of Rijeka was dominated by the lord's castle, the eastern part featured the main commoners’ church with a cemetery, to the west there was a spacious cloistered enclosure, and here, in the south quarter, near the embankment and the beach market under the town walls, there was the vibrant heart of the Town. There, the citizens of Rijeka would meet to listen to the proclamations of the Town Crier, seal contracts and buy and sell on the open market or in stores situated in the ground floors of houses. Only traces of those houses remain now, with several old walls integrated into more modern buildings, a baroque lintel with the former owner’s coat of arms and an arched underground corn house. In the near past was the former town “Greenmarket” where fruit and vegetables were sold.
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Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka
The museum has its roots in the Fine Arts Gallery built in 1948. Six years later, in 1954, the 1954 Salon was founded - the Exhibition of Contemporary Sculpture and Painting in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). This was the first group exhibition of the modern fine arts production of the former state. In 1960 it started the Biennale of Young Artists and in 1968 it presented the International Exhibition of Original Drawings. Since 1990 it has been presenting Croatian artists at the European and Mediterranean Biennale of Young Artists. In 1962 the institution changed its name to the Rijeka Modern Gallery and in 2003 to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The Museum is working on a number of collections. These are collections of works by national artists Božidar Rašica, Romolo Venucci and Slavko Grčko, as well as collections of drawings, graphics, sculptures, posters, paintings, photographs and media art. The exhibition activities take place in Krešimirova Street.
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Peek & Poke Computer Museum
Those who peek into Rijeka’s computer museum and poke through its past will be amazed by the speed at which our technological future has become our past. Under the name Peek&Poke, it is the first Croatian museum of computers and computer equipment. Its founders call it the Retro Computer Club. Opened in 2007, it welcomes its visitors with exhibits that date back to the 1960s. Some of the oldest exhibits include the pioneers of computer technology, such as Minivac (1961), the first big series personal computer (Apple II), the first affordable home computer (Sinclair ZX80), the first palmtop (Newton), the computer on which Andy Warhol made his art (Amiga 1000) and the great-grandfather of all modern personal computers - the original IBM PC. The museum holds a proof that Croatia was once a leader in one sector of this technology - the first European calculator, manufactured in 1971 in Buje in the Digitron factory, is exhibited here. The museum has over 2000 exhibits of international and Croatian computer, audio, video and photo technology. Located in the premises of 300 square meters in the city centre, it is one of the first 5 world museums on this subject and is also the largest exhibition of its kind in this part of Europe.
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Principia at Tarsatica
The Old Gate or the Roman Arch is not, as was assumed earlier, a Roman triumphal arch, but a monumental main entrance into the heart of the military headquarters of the late Roman empire Tarsatica, an ancient town on whose ruins medieval Rijeka rose. The people of Rijeka were right to trust their instincts and call it simply The Gate; the term Roman Arch became gradually more accepted from the time of Classicism when the documentation and the research of this monument began. The profiled facade of the Arch has been preserved only in fragments, the other parts fell off a long time ago or have been taken away to be incorporated into the houses of medieval Rijeka. The Tarsatica Principia was the main camp, the supply base and the starting point of the Claustra Alpia Iuliarum, dozens of kilometres long intermittent defence walls, towers, guard stations, and larger fortifications positioned in key communication lines and elevated points, with the aim of stopping barbaric invasions towards Italy, the heart of the Roman Empire.
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Rijeka Tunnel
How many times have you visited a military facility as a tourist? Not very often is our guess. Well, Rijeka offers a rare opportunity to do exactly that. And it will lead you underground in the process. The first military tunnel opened exclusively for tourist visits is waiting for you in the very centre of the city. The decision to build the tunnel arose from the fact that the city sprung up at the crossroads of several historical states, which is why it also became an area of particular military significance. The frequent shifting of borders led to the construction of fortifications. Most of them were built in the years leading up to World War II, during the construction of the so-called Alpine Wall (Vallo Alpino), which was supposed to protect the border between the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The construction of subterranean strongholds, military warehouses, passages and bunkers began in 1931 in order to make the city less susceptible to cannon fire. The entrance to the tunnel is located next to the Cathedral of St. Vitus and it stretches below the Old Town to the Dolac Primary School. The 330-m long tunnel, which was dug into bedrock from 1939 to 1942 by the Italian military in order to protect civilians from aerial bombings, descends to a depth of 10 m in several places. It is 4 m wide and 2.5 m high on average. The main tunnel bore branches off in two directions, one leading towards the old city hall building and the other to the Cathedral of St. Vitus.
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Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat
The Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat is the largest pilgrimage centre of Western Croatia. Its foundation is reported to be, according to tradition, related to the miraculous transport of the Nazareth Barn, and its stay on Trsat (1291 – 1294). Shortly after the relocation of the Mother of God’s house to Loreto, Prince Nikola I of Krk built the first small church on the place where the barn stood on Trsat. Marija`s Trsat became a pilgrimage point of convergence, the reputation of which was strengthened by the astounding painting of the Lady of Trsat, which was a gift given to the inconsolable Croats in 1367 by Pope Urban V for the loss of the Holy Barn. In the XV century, the Sanctuary was taken over by Franciscans, who have remained its guardians to the present day. On 8 June 2003, Pope John Paul II attended a long pilgrimage procession.
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Mlaka Park
Mlaka Park, also known as Giardino Pubblico, is one of the oldest and most beautiful parks in Rijeka. It was designed in 1874 by Filibert Bazarig, PhD as indicated be based on the proposals of Rijeka’s mayor at the time, Giovanni Ciotta as a kind of frontier between the city centre and the western suburbs as well as the announcement of the historical centre for those arriving from that direction into the centre. Originally a spacious park irrigated by natural resources, it was once a favourite popular meeting point, although today it occupies a smaller area due to the construction of buildings that have been constructed around it in its surroundings over time. In spite of its reduced size, this park located close to the train station is still a pleasant place for relaxation and walking.
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Park Nikole Hosta
Apart from Mlaka Park, Nikola Host’s Park is one of the oldest in Rijeka. It was created in the 19th century as a botanical garden close to Villa Androch when it was owned by Archduke Joseph, a great lover and connoisseur of the art of gardening. Located on the rocky terrain and stretching over several levels, the park, with its sculptures, fountains and exotic plants brought by the archduke from around the world, has assumed the appearance of an English garden. This appearance has partly faded away over time. The park was named after the Austrian botanist who participated in its creation. Today Villa Androch houses the State Archives.
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Korzo
Rijeka is reflected in Korzo, at Korzo you can read Rijeka. Anyone who, at least once, had a coffee at one of the terraces of numerous and picturesque café bars lined along this unusual promenade, would agree.
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St. Vitus Cathedral
St. Vitus’ Cathedral is the only Baroque rotunda of monumental proportions built on Croatian soil. The construction of this church, designed by the Jesuit architect G. Briano, began in 1638. It was made on the model of the famous Venetian church of Santa Maria della Salute.
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The Trsat Castle
The Trsat Castle represents a strategically embossed lookout on a hill 138 meters above sea level dominating Rijeka. It was mentioned as a parochial centre for the first time in 1288. At this same site there was a Liburnian observation post from prehistoric times, used for monitoring the roads leading from the hinterland to the coast.