Rijeka – the ever-flowing river

Rijeka is the name of the third largest city (behind Zagreb and Split) in the beautiful country of Croatia, located on the north coast of the Adriatic Sea. It has a population close to 140,000 and it’s the main seaport of the newest EU member (as of July 1st 2013).


 Are you wondering  why I chose the title of this article to be „The ever-flowing river“? Well, it’s because the word „rijeka“ in the Croatian language actually means „river“. The river Rječina flows through the heart of the city, and cuts it literally into two parts. In the World War II period, the part east of Rječina belonged to former Yugoslavia and it was inhabitated mostly by Croatians (it was called Sušak – today a neighbourhood of Rijeka), while the west part was a part of Fiume (old Italian name for Rijeka which is still used in Italy), when our city was overwhelmingly Italian.

Rijeka was finally free on May 3rd 1945, which is now known as the „Liberation day of Rijeka“. Because of that, Rijeka’s largest shipyard acquired the name „Treći maj“.


During the 20th century, the city of Rijeka grew demographically and economically, based on a lot of manufacturing industries being active, as well as the port and maritime economy, which was at that time the largest in former Yugoslavia.

Croatia finally broke of from Yugoslavia during the Croatian War of Independence, which was fought from 1991 until 1995, when the last Croatian territory was liberated from the Serb occupation in the „Operation Storm“.

Rijeka has somewhat stagnated after the war, having some of the largest industries in the city shut down. The torpedo factory in the district of Mlaka, paper mill close to Rječina and one of the biggest shipping companies, Jugolinija.

Today, Rijeka is a place where new things are starting to evolve, especially the student life. The University of Rijeka is the second oldest University in Croatia, and it’s large Campus is in the last stage of building. Some of the major colleges have found a place there, at the district of Trsat, where more than 2500 students will have the possibility to be accomodated during the academic year.


The Campus of Trsat during construction

The center of Rijeka is always interesting to visit, it offers a lot of history that can be seen just walking through the main boardwalk, called Korzo. The old city clock, with the „Old Gate“ (dating from the 1st century, the only antic monument in Rijeka) is definitely a sight to see.


After three times of building, in 1885 the National Theatre of Ivan Zajc has risen and since then won numerous national awards and held major plays, shows and concerts. It is situated in the soul center of Rijeka, next to the main market, an always busy and crowded place, especially in the morning hours.


Did you really think I was going to forget about showing you our beautiful beaches? Of course, we have a wide variety of choices to make, we can walk with our towel straight from home to the beach 🙂 Or, take the bus and just choose something from our beautiful coast, all the way from Opatija, Lovran to the Istra side and here to Kostrena, Kraljevica and places which head in the direction of Krk, the second largest Croatian island, after Cres. Both of the islands are located within the Primorsko-goranska county, of which Rijeka is the main headquarters.


After all this sunbathing and swimming, it’s time for some studying! 🙂

I am studying at the Polytechnic of Rijeka (Veleučilište u Rijeci), at the Business department in the Entrepreneurship section. The Polytechnic of Rijeka is a higher education institution that has recently celebrated 15 years of existence. It was inaugurated in the academic year 1998/99. Since then it has grown into a reliable higher education institution with distinguished programmes of study to meet the demand of the regional labour market for higheducated professionals.

The Polytechnic of Rijeka has eight professional studies and five specialist professional studies, preparing thus students to get involved in solving real tasks soon after graduation.


Croatia is known as a country that is very successful in sports, having only 4.3 million people but great results in the major world sporting events. The Croatian waterpolo team is the current Olympic Champion, and former European and World Champion. Well, we are people that come from the sea, afterall 🙂

The Croatian national handball team is the World Champion from 2003 in Portugal and two times Olympic Champion (Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004). Our basketball team has won 4th place at this year’s Eurobasket which was held in Slovenia.

And yes, I have left football last, as the cream on the cake 🙂

The world heard about Croatia mostly in 1998, when our national football team won the bronze medal at the World Cup in France, beating teams as Germany and Netherlands on its path to glory.

Football is also the main interest in Rijeka, especially in the last few years. Well, especially since last and during this season, in which Rijeka is currently playing its first ever Europa League group stage matches!

HNK Rijeka finished third in the last season’s edition of the Croatian Prva HNL, and in the qualifying phases of the Europa League eliminated Welsh side Prestatyn Town, then Žilina from Slovakia, and then…

…the historical day finally came! Rijeka edged off German giants Stuttgart in two matches, winning the first one at Kantrida 2:1, and playing a draw at the glorious Mercedes-benz Arena, with Goran Mujanović becoming the hero, scoring the equaliser in the final seconds of the match.

August 29th, 2013, that was a day to remember, look exactly how it happened!


Rijeka plays its home games at the Stadium of Kantrida, which has a specific location. Situated beneath the old cliffs, just a few metres from the Adriatic Sea, it offers a unique atmosphere, which is present in every match! Mostly thanks to the greatest fans in Croatia, Armada, who follow their favourite team all over Europe, wherever they go!


 I welcome you to R I J E K A, where the summers are long and warm, winters cold but short, and the people here have the power to brighten up your day! This city always stays in the hearts of everyone who have ever walked its streets and dipped their toes in its crystal clear sea!


Ivan Dorian Molnar
Rijeka, Croatia

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1 Comment on Rijeka – the ever-flowing river

Chorwacki Erasmus – tylko w Rijece! | BLOG ESN UEK said : 9 years ago

[…] Jeśli chcecie dowiedzie się więcej o Rijece zachęcam do przeczytania poprzedniego artykułu z Rijeki, zamieszczonego na naszym blogu w styczniu, autorstwa Ivana Doriana, Chorwata, który spędził ubiegły semestr na UEKu, a pochodzi właśnie z Rijeki! :) Tutaj link : http://blogesnuek.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/rijeka-the-ever-flowing-river/ […]

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