Rijeka

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more than a year ago

Saint Vitus - Sveti Vid

The Slavs took St Vitus to their hearts as a patron saint because his name means something like “all-seeing” in Slav languages – indeed, he is the patron saint of eyes and vision, and of the city of Rijeka. So much did his image become part of the city that Rijeka was known in the Middle Ages either as “Terra Fluminis Sancti Viti” (in Latin) or “Rika Svetog Vida” (Croatian). You can see his image on a stained glass window in St Vitus' Cathedral and in many other items of the city's heraldry. St Vitus was born in Sicily at the end of the 3rd Century, and was martyred by the Roman Emperor Diocletian (he who built the great palace at Split). Prague’s gothic cathedral is also named after him.


 Memorial house of Ivana Brlić Mažuranić

The neighbourhood of Sušak that lies across the river was once a separate settlement. It got its name from the Croatian verb “sušiti” – “to dry”, since once upon a time there were large areas used for drying the laundry washed in the many springs here. The coming of the railway brought wealth and expansion, and a host of fine buildings and palaces grew up and today line the bank on the east side of the Rječina. The area of land between the centre of Rijeka and Sušak, called the Delta, was the dividing line between two states between the World Wars. Rijeka fell under the jurisdiction of Italy, and died a death due to competition from the larger Italian ports, while Sušak prospered as the main port of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Take a walk through the atmospheric streets and you come to the neighbourhood of Pećine that lies on the shore. It was the elite residential during Austro-Hungarian rule, and it’s worth a wander.

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