It is a town and the oldest Croatian port, situated on the coast of the Kvarner bay, the main link between the maritime and continental traffic systems, with powerful industry, a transit centre with a large share of the coastal tourist traffic. Rijeka was pronounced a free port in 1719.
The old part of town is specific for its streets with characteristics of late baroque, historicism and secession. It abounds in cultural-historical monuments: the arch of glory form the 1st century AD, the municipal tower with clock form the 15th century, the old municipal town hall from the 15th century, the Trsat fortress from the 13th century, the church of St. Mary of Loretto from the 15th century.
The tourist image of the city is determined by Rijeka’s position in the inlet of the Adriatic the Gulf of Kvarner. This position is enhanced by natural features, historical and cultural values, and the Mediterranean climate. Rijeka is a city that has a rich and turbulent past.
It is also shaped by its maritime traditions, its function as a centre for transportation and the entrepot trade and a fair city. It is the administrative, commercial, business, academic and cultural centre of the whole of the Kvarner region. With its World Trade Center and the Adriatic’s biggest port, Rijeka is a place where numerous business contacts with the whole world are made.
Rijeka has the coast’s most important tourist and maritime terminal, a ferry and shipping port that is the starting point for all the lines that run down the Adriatic coast and to the islands, for both cars and passengers.
People come into Rijeka by land, sea and air. In order to get to know Rijeka, you have to take a stroll down the Korzo, the well known pedestrian street in the centre of Rijeka, go underneath the City Tower, the symbol of the city, climb up to the romantic walls of Trsat and visit Our Lady of Trsat, one of the oldest shrines in the world.