Some historical facts about the city of Rijeka – the European Capital of Culture in 2020
Did you know…?
– in Rijeka in 1909 the first Croatian feature film was made.
– the first television aerials in Croatia were placed on the roofs of houses in Rijeka.
– the first kidney transplant in the ex-Yugoslavia was performed in Rijeka, in 1971.
– in the Arctic there is a piece of land named after Rijeka (Cape Fiume).
– Robert Ludvigovich Bartini born in Rijeka was an accomplished aircraft designer.
– the postmark ‘V’ Fiume from 1755, is the oldest surviving postmark in the Republic of Croatia.
– a life jacket from the Titanic is located in the local museum. It was collected by the RMS Carpathia (the ship that saved the Titanic’s survivors) on route from New York-Rijeka.
– the ‘Husar’ disco club in Rijeka was the first in this part of Europe.
– the first Croatian rock band, ‘Uragani’ came from Rijeka.
– Croatian Hip-Hop began in Rijeka.
– in Rijeka the first speedway race was held in Italy and that the founder of Italian speedway was in fact from Rijeka.
– the first psychiatric hospital in Yugoslavia was built in Rijeka.
– the oldest lift in Croatia is in Rijeka.
– that under Rijeka there is a cave which has been declared a natural geomorphologic monument.
– that Rijeka had its very own Schindler who helped hundreds of Jews.
– in 1852 in Rijeka the first gas production plant began operation in South East Europe.
– Rijeka’s rope factory is the oldest industrial plant in the city’s history.
– the first sanatorium in Croatia was opened in the district of Pećine.
– the first radio transmission in the ex-Yugoslavia was made in Rijeka, back in 1920. It was a speech by D’Annunzio.
– the first Croatian steamship was built in Rijeka and with it a regular passenger route between Senj and Rijeka was established which is considered to be the start of passenger travel on the Croatian Adriatic.
– the Croatian national anthem was written in Rijeka by Antun Mihanović.
– that French writer Henri Beyle Stendhal spent some time in Rijeka.
– that member of the American Senate and Mayor of New York Fiorello Henry La Guardia stayed in Rijeka as the US consul and played in the Rijeka football club Atletico Fiumano.
– that Rijeka’s Pero Radaković scored the only goal in the quarter-final match against Germany, during the Football World Cup in Chile in 1962, ensuring Yugoslavia’s 4th place, which was to be its best ever result.
– Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp, the most decorated submarine captain of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, attended the Naval Academy in Rijeka. At the shipyard in Kantrida, where the submarines were launched, he met and fell in love with Agathe, the granddaughter of Robert Whitehead (inventor of the torpedo in Rijeka), and they married on 10th January 1911 in Rijeka. In the 1960s one of the best musical films of all time ‘The Sound of Music’ was filmed about the von Trapp family.
– in 1937 Gino and Oscar Jankovits from Rijeka designed, constructed and tested the first car in Croatia. It was the Alfa Romeo Aerospider. It was the first vehicle in the world with fitted door handles and lights in the chassis, the first with the steering wheel in the centre, the first with the engine placed centrally at the rear, the first with a horizontally placed radiator and it could reach a speed of 230 km/h.
– in Rijeka on 9th June 1969 the first library bus in Yugoslavia began working. It visited the city’s surroundings which had no access to library facilities providing all the inhabitants with library services.
– in 1984 the first cash machine, ATM, in Yugoslavia was installed in Rijeka by Riječka Banka.
In 2020 Rijeka is the first Croatian city to hold the title of European Capital of Culture – the year-long programmes of events begins on 1st February – more info here:https://rijeka2020.eu/en/