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Top 8 Interesting Facts about Rijeka

Riva promenade Rijeka Croatia
Photo taken by Roberta F / wikimedia.org.  Riva promenade Rijeka Croatia

Have plans to visit Croatia? If so, you should definitely visit one of the country’s most beautiful coastal cities – Rijeka. Before you head out, though, we offer you a handful of interesting facts about this Croatian city.

*Rijeka is proud of being the birthplace of the torpedo. City guests can visit the place where the first of the missiles were built, and see the ramp where the world’s very first torpedo was launched from in 1866.

*Many devout people hold the crucifix of the St. Vitus Cathedral to be magical. According to legend, one of the city locals once threw a stone at it, making it bleed. The blood was then collected into a vessel and is still kept at the altar to this day – no wonder the cathedral is depicted on the backside of the Croatian Kuna.

Capuchin Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
Photo taken by Грищук ЮН / wikiemdia.org.  Capuchin Church of Our Lady of Lourdes

*The Church of St. Jerome is the place where Rijeka’s most famous captains are buried.

*Near the Catholic Mission Assumption of Mary Church you’ll find the Leaning Tower, built by the Venetians in 1377, which was first used as a steeple, but later tilted to the side and is now called the local Tower of Pisa.

Rijeka Carnival
Photo taken by Roberta F / wikimedia.org.  Rijeka Carnival

*Every year, right before the Great Lent, Rijeka hosts the country’s largest carnival. People make special clothes, masks, and organise music shows especially.

*Rijeka’s Jazz Tunel café holds an annual International Jazz Music Festival.

*The Continental Hotel, located in a late 19th-century building at the very centre of the city, is considered to be one of Rijeka’s symbols.

Rijecki_Korzo Rijeka Croatia
Photo taken by Roberta F / wikimedia.org.  Rijecki_Korzo Rijeka Croatia

*Returning home from Rijeka, everyone brings back some Morčičas – a piece of jewellery reminiscent of the heads of Moors who once used to rule Croatia. These come in the form of pins, necklaces and earrings. Some Morčičas are for men, others – for women. In the past, sailors used to carry Morčičas around with them as protection from bad luck.

There are two theories regarding the origins of Morčičas. The first goes back to the 16th century and tells of a battle between the Croatians and the Turks, where the former vanquished the latter, leaving nothing but white turbans on the ground. In celebration, Croatian men who took part in the battle made earrings with black heads and white turbans for their wives. The second one tells of an Italian countess who freed her black maid, and later made a pair of earrings for remembrance.

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