Much of Rijeka was rebuilt after World War II, though a fair number of nineteenth-century buildings remain, many of them in solid ranks along the Riva, a neglected part of town which, the odd cafe excepted, lacks the vibrancy of other city waterfronts along the Adriatic. Just inland on Jadranski trg is one surviving symbol of inter-war Italian architecture, the russet-coloured Veliki neboder (literally "big skyscraper"), a boldly functional office block whose grid-like facade looks like a monumental CD rack - and has unsurprisingly earned the building the nickname of ormar-ladi&jak or "chest of drawers".
Running east from Jadranski trg, the pedestrianized Korzo is Rijeka's main shopping area and the focus of most of its streetlife. The one real landmark here is the City Tower (Gradski toranj), a medieval gateway topped by a later Baroque structure; its position marks the old seafront before the city was extended by landfills in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Known locally as "Pod uriloj" (after the Italian word for clock, orologio), it has a relief on its
street-facing side bearing the Habsburg double-headed eagle surmounted by busts of Austrian emperors Leopold I (on the left) and Charles VI (on the right). It was the latter's decision to declare Rijeka a free port in 1717 4th kickstarted the city's economic growth.
The gate beneath the City Tower gives access to the Old Town (Start grad), a rather hopeful description for an area of scruffy squares, peeling plaster shiny, black glass-fronted department Heading stralk', on Uphill b you out onto the sloping Trg Grivica, at the top of which stands St V-Church (Crkva svetogVida), surmounted by a rotunda built in 1638 in' tion of Santa Maria dells Salute in Venice. Look out for the Gothic c - above the high altar: in 1296, the story goes, a gambler was losing at cards side the church and ran inside in a rage, flinging stones at this crucifix, began to bleed. In response to this blasphemy, the ground beneath the feet is said to have promptly opened up and swallowed him completely, ex... for one hand.The faithful claim that one of the stones he threw is still em, ded in the side of the wooden Christ.
Not far from St Vitus' - make a left turn along Žrtava fašizma - rises the nineteenth-century Gubernatorial Palace (Guvernerova palaca), whose vellously over-the-top state rooms now provide a sumptuous setting for History and Maritime Museum (Pomorski i povijesni muzej hrvatskog primorja Tues-Sat 9am-lpm). It was here that d'Annunzio installed himself for his short period of power, until shelling by the Italian battleship Andres Doris on Boxing Day 1920 persuaded him to leave. Its huge echoing rooms hold costumes, period portraits, weaponry and a lot of colour-coordinated drapes and furniture, while the model ships on the second floor include replicas of the huge tankers formerly made by the local 3 Maj shipyard, whose gates you'll pass if entering the town from the northwest. In the palace grounds there's a modern pavilion holding the City Museum (Muzej grada Rijeke; Mon-Fri 10am-lpm, 5-8pm, Sat 10am-fpm), which hosts changing exhibitions relating to local history. Behind the Gubernatorial Palace to the northeast, the Natural History Museum (Prirodoslovni muzej; Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 9am-2pm) at Lorenzov prolaz 1 has displays on geology and marine life, including some ferocious-looking stuffed sharks.
Frana Suplia, Dolac and the Capuchin Church
Returning downhill towards the Korzo along Frana Supila, you'll pass the University Library (SveuMigna krjiinica; entrance round the corner on Dolac), which is home to two exhibition spaces: the Modern Art Gallery (Moderns galerija; Tues-Sun 10am-lpm & 6-9pm), which stages occasional temporary shows, and the Glagolitic Exhibition (Izložba glagoljice; in theory Mon-Fri 8am-3pm), a worthy but less than riveting display of manuscripts written in the ecclesiastical script which was common to the Kvarner region in the Middle Ages, Marking the western end of Dolac at no. 13 is the Teatro Fenice cinema, built in 1913 in Futurist style but nowadays looking somewhat uncared for - appropriately enough, this was where Futurist ideologue F. T. Marinette addressed meetings in support of d'Annunzio in 1919.
Finally, opposite the bus station on Trg Žabica rises the huge, striped neoGothic bulk of the Capuchin Church (Kapucinska crkva), completed in 1908 and fronted by a large double stairway. It's said that the Capuchins - in particular a certain self-styled "Saint" Jochanza - collected money for the church with public shows of blood-sweating, making the site a minor place of pilgrimage until Jochanza was accused of charlatanry and arrested in 1913.
Sušak and Trsat
East of the old centre, the thick, pea-soup-coloured River Rječina marks the edge of central Rijeka, beyond which lies the suburb of Sušak; between 1924 and 1941, walking between the city centre and here meant crossing from Italy into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. On the north side of Titov trg, a Baroque gateway marks the start of the Trsatske Stube, a stairway of 538 steps, built in 1531 at the bidding of Uskok commander Petar Kručic. This leads up to the pilgrimage centre of Trsat (also reachable on bus #1 or #la from Fiumara or the Riva), nowadays a suburb of Rijeka, occupying a bluff high above the modern centre. According to legend, That is where the House of the Virgin Mary and Joseph rested for three years during its miraculous flight from the infidel in Nazareth to Loreto in Italy, where it was set down in December 1294. At the top, the Church of St Mary of Loreto (Crkva svete Marije Lauretanske) supposedly marks the spot where the house rested.The church originally dates from the fifteenth century, but was almost completely rebuilt in 1824; it's now a place of almost exclusively female pilgrimage and worship - the more devout pilgrims sometimes scale KruiiCs steps on their knees. The sanctuary features an altar with an icon of the Virgin, sent here by Pope Urban V in 1367, surrounded by necklaces and other trinkets hung there by grateful pilgrims, who are required to walk round the altar three times. At the side of the church is a Franciscan monastery whose chapel of votive gifts (kapela zavjetnih darova) is plastered with pictures and tapestries left by those whose prayers have been answered; the numerous enthusiastic paintings depicting events such as shipwrecks and car crashes in which the Virgin is supposed to have intervened are particularly striking.
That Castle (Trsatska grading; Feb, March, Nov & Dec daily 9am-3pm; April–Oct daily 9am-1 1pm), across the road from the church, is an ivy-clad hotchpotch of turrets and towers, walkways and parapets that give views backwards up a great grey tear in the mountains and forwards to Rijeka, under its dim yellowish haze of industrial smog. Beyond Rijeka is the island of Cres and, to the wall right, on the northwestern side of the Kvarner Gulf, the sheer moun- tain of Mount Učka. Parts of the castle date back to Roman times, when it was an important way-station on the trade routes linking the northern Adriatic with the Pannonian plain, but the fortress assumed its current shape mainly in the thirteenth century, when it became a stronghold of the Frankopans of Krk. In 1826, an Austrian general of Irish descent, oneVice-marshal Laval Nugent, took the place over and restored it in Classical style, constructing the Doric temple in the middle which serves as his family's mausoleum; the castle is also used as a open-air theatre and houses a seasonal cafe.