AskDefine | Define fiume

User Contributed Dictionary



  • [ˈfjume]


Latin flumen, fluminis from fluere


  1. river

Extensive Definition

Rijeka (other Croatian dialects: Rika and Reka, lang-sl Reka, Italian and Hungarian: Fiume, lang-de Sankt Veit am Pflaumb) is the principal seaport of Croatia, located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea. It has 144,043 inhabitants (270,000 for greater area in 2001) and is Croatia's third largest city. The majority of its citizens, 80.39% (2001 census), are Croats. The city's name means river in English.
Rijeka is the center of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County in Croatia. The city's economy largely depends on sea transport, shipbuilding (shipyards "3. Maj" and "Viktor Lenac") and tourism.
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. The local football clubs are NK Rijeka and NK Orijent.


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 simply means "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 Franks, the Croats and the Hungarians before coming under the control of the Austrian Habsburgs in 1466.
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 Pflaumb. 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 suzerainty

Created 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 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 Rijeka.
Major port development, the general expansion of international trade and the city's connection (1873) to the Hungarian and Austrian railway networks contributed to rapid population growth 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. In 1912 the future Hungarian head of state János Kádár was born in then Rijeka.

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 Italian occupation, an international force of 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.
Italy based its claim on the fact that Italians were the largest single nationality within the city. Croats made up most of the remainder and were also a majority in the surrounding area, including the neighbouring town of Sušak. However, Italy's territorial claim to Rijeka/Fiume was rejected by the other major victors of World War I.
On September 10, 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 writer Gabriele d'Annunzio seized control of the city; 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 signaled a hardening of official attitudes to d'Annunzio's coup. On November 12, Italy and Yugoslavia concluded the Treaty of Rapallo, under which Rijeka/Fiume (Fiume) was to be an independent state, the Free State of Rijeka/Fiume, under a regime 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. 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 (January 27, 1924), which assigned Rijeka to Italy and Sušak to Yugoslavia, with joint port administration. Formal Italian annexation (March 16, 1924) inaugurated twenty years of Fascist rule and a policy of forced Italianization of the Croatian population, followed by twenty months of German military occupation. During WWII the city was heavily damaged by a number of Allied air attacks. The harbour area was destroyed by the retreating Germans.

After World War II

The aftermath of World War II 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; once occupied, the city of Rijeka became Croatian (i.e., Yugoslav), a situation formalized by the Paris peace treaty between Italy and the wartime Allies on February 10, 1947. Once the change in sovereignty was formalized, 58,000 of the 66,000 Italian speakers left the city in advance of the Yugoslav army, and went into "exile" (esuli). The discrimination and persecution many of them experienced at the hands of the Yugoslav populace and officials in the dying days of World War II and the first weeks of peace were a painful memory for them. Summary and brutal executions of fascists, Italian public servants and military officials convinced many Italians to abandon Rijeka.

City Mayors of Rijeka after 1948

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.
Svetište Majke Božje Trsatske (Sanctuary of Madonna Trsatian) (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 Pretorij, the army command in late antiquity.


Rijeka is the largest port in Croatia. According to the Rijeka Port Authority, its total throughput cargo in 2006 was close to 11 million tons.
Rijeka has efficient transport connections to other parts of Croatia and neighbouring countries. The A6 Zagreb-Rijeka motorway was completed in 2004; a shorter stretch connecting Rijeka with the Slovenian border, part of the A7 motorway, was completed that same year. Rijeka gains access to the A8/A9 Istrian Y expressway network by means of the Učka Tunnel. An intricate series of high-capacity bypass and connection roads has recently been 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.
Rijeka is difficult to get to by air; it has its own international airport, but this is located on the nearby island of Krk. 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 international 5b 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. 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 two hours. Rijeka is well connected by direct train to Munich in Germany or Salzburg in Austria, and there are direct night trains running to Rijeka from these two cities.
Rijeka has good ferry connections with the surrounding islands and cities within Croatia, but no direct foreign connections. There are daily coastal routes to Zadar, Split, and onwards to Dubrovnik which has international connections. Pula offers more direct southward connections from northwestern Croatia.

Twin cities

see also Town twinning


fiume in Afrikaans: Rijeka
fiume in Asturian: Rijeka
fiume in Bosnian: Rijeka (grad)
fiume in Bulgarian: Риека
fiume in Catalan: Rijeka
fiume in Chuvash: Риека
fiume in Czech: Rijeka
fiume in Danish: Rijeka
fiume in German: Rijeka
fiume in Estonian: Rijeka
fiume in Modern Greek (1453-): Ριέκα
fiume in Spanish: Rijeka
fiume in Esperanto: Rijeko
fiume in French: Rijeka
fiume in Croatian: Rijeka
fiume in Ido: Rijeka
fiume in Italian: Fiume (Croazia)
fiume in Hebrew: רייקה
fiume in Latvian: Rijeka
fiume in Lithuanian: Rijeka
fiume in Hungarian: Fiume
fiume in Dutch: Rijeka
fiume in Japanese: リエカ
fiume in Norwegian: Rijeka
fiume in Norwegian Nynorsk: Rijeka
fiume in Polish: Rijeka
fiume in Portuguese: Rijeka
fiume in Romanian: Rijeka
fiume in Russian: Риека
fiume in Slovak: Rijeka
fiume in Slovenian: Reka, Hrvaška
fiume in Serbian: Ријека (град)
fiume in Serbo-Croatian: Rijeka (grad)
fiume in Finnish: Rijeka
fiume in Swedish: Rijeka
fiume in Turkish: Rijeka
fiume in Venetian: Fiume (Croazsia)
fiume in Chinese: 里耶卡
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