The city of Rijeka, or as the Italians call it Fiume, is a major Adriatic port and the industrial, commercial, and cultural hub of the Croatian west. Located in a gulf of the Adriatic Sea called Kvarner, Rijeka is Croatia's largest sea port. Spreading up the slopes of the Julian Alps and overflowing onto the landfills on the Adriatic seafront, the city fully occupies a narrow strip of coastland. The name Rijeka (transl. river) dates from the 13th century and refers to the river Rječina (Croatian) and Fiumara or Eneo (Italian), that flows into the Adriatic at Rijeka. With the country's primary naval base it is also a point of departure for coastal shipping. The coastal Adriatic Highway begins in the city, that also has a train connection to Zagreb, Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Trieste (Italy).
Rijeka is a mayor industry center, with shipyards and repair facilities, oil refineries, a paper factory and a diesel-engine factory where the then-owner Robert Whitehead invented the torpedo in 1866.
At the same locale Tarsatica, a Roman settlement from the 3rd century, is believed to have been destroyed by Charlemagne about 800 AD. In the 6th–7th century Slavs and Avars had begun to settle there. A small settlement called Starigrad (“Old City”) emerged on the right bank of the river Rječina about the 10th century. Austria claimed it in 1471, was made a free port in 1717, attached to Croatia in 1776, and declared a free city under the Hungarian crown in 1779. Occupied by the French in the years 1809–14, followed by the English expelling the French. Up until the end of World War I, it was alternately under Austrian, Hungarian, and Croatian rule, and in that period the port and the railway was built.
After WWI in 1918 Rijeka became the main problem at the postwar peace accords. During the World War II in 1943 Rijeka suffered extensive damage from Allied air raids and was occupied by the Germans. There are many Baroque buildings in Rijeka, a 13th-century castle with later additions, some early churches (14th century), and a modern university founded in 1973. Also is the terminus of an oil pipeline running from the Croatian northeast oil fields.
Being so close to the islands of Krk, Cres, Losinj and the beautiful peninsula of Istria, provides you with opportunities for pleasant and interesting road trips, as well as visits to the nearby national parks and nature parks Risnjak, Plitvice Lakes, Ucka, just an easy daytrip, best bay rental car, simply relax and enjoy.