Rijeka (Croatian pronunciation: [rijěːka] (About this sound listen); Italian: Fiume, [ˈfjuːme]; Slovene: Reka; German: Sankt Veit am Flaum; all but the last one, "Saint Vito at the River", meaning "River"; see other names) is the principal seaport and the third-largest city in Croatia (after Zagreb and Split). It is located in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea and has a population of 128,624 inhabitants. Historically, because of its strategic position and its excellent deep-water port, the city was fiercely contested, especially among Italy, Hungary (serving as the Kingdom of Hungary's largest and most important port), and Croatia, changing hands and demographics many times over centuries. According to the 2011 census data, the overwhelming majority of its citizens (94.52%) are Croats, along with small numbers of Bosniaks, Italians and Serbs. The city has a strong local sense of identity and the autochthonous inhabitants of Rijeka are referred to as Fiumans.
Rijeka is the main city of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The city's economy largely depends on shipbuilding (shipyards "3. Maj" and "Viktor Lenac Shipyard") and maritime transport. Rijeka hosts the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, first built in 1765, as well as the University of Rijeka, founded in 1973 but with roots dating back to 1632 School of Theology.
In 799 Rijeka was attacked by the Frankish troops of Charlemagne. Their Siege of Trsat was at first repulsed, during which the Frankish commander Duke Eric of Friuli was killed. However, the Frankish forces finally occupied and devastated the castle, while the Duchy of Croatia passed under the overlordship of the Carolingian Empire. From about 925, the town was part of the Kingdom of Croatia, from 1102 in personal union with Hungary. Trsat Castle and the town was rebuilt under the rule of the House of Frankopan. In 1288 the Rijeka citizens signed the Law codex of Vinodol, one of the oldest codes of law in Europe.
Rijeka even rivalled with Venice when it was purchased by the Habsburg emperor Frederick III, Archduke of Austria in 1466. It would remain under Habsburg overlordship for over 450 years, except for French rule between 1805 and 1813, until its occupation by Croatian and subsequently Italian irregulars at the end of World War I.
With the Treaty of Rome (27 January 1924) between the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the two countries agreed to annex and split the territory of the Free State of Fiume between themselves. The formal annexation (16 March 1924) inaugurated 19 years of Italian fascist rule and the city became the seat of the newly formed Province of Carnaro. In this period Fiume lost its commercial hinterland and thus part of its economic potential, due to it becoming a border town with little strategic importance for the Kingdom of Italy. But thanks to it retaining the Free Port status, and its iconic image in the fascist nation-building myth it gained many specific concessions from the government in Rome, a separate tax treatment from the rest of the Kingdom and a more humble than in Hungarian times, but continuous inflow of investments from the state. This could still not avoid a substantial slowing of the economic and demographic growth compared to the previous Austro-Hungarian period.
The most notable victims of the political and ethnic repression of locals in this period has been the Fiume Autonomists purge hitting the autonomists still living in the city, and now associated in the Liburnian Autonomist Movement. These actively helped the Yugoslav partisans in liberating the region from fascist and nazi occupation, and despite previous promises of large autonomy for Fiume inside the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, were killed by the Yugoslav secret police OZNA in the days leading and following the Yugoslav army entry the city. In the subsequent years the Yugoslav authorities joined the municipalities of Fiume and Sušak and after 1954 less than one third of the original population of the now united municipalities (mostly the ethnic Croats) remained in the city. The old municipality of Fiume lost in these years more than 85% of the original population. Subsequently, the city was resettled by many immigrants from various parts of Yugoslavia, changing heavily the city's demographics and its linguistic composition. This years coincided also with a period of reconstruction and new industrialisation. During the period of the Yugoslav communist administration in the 1950s–1980s the city became the main port of the Federal Republic and started to grow once again both demographically and economically thanks to the fact it got once again a solid hinterland, as well as the refurbishing of its traditional manufacturing industries after the war, its maritime economy and its port, now the largest in the country. It soon became the second richest (GDP per capita) district of Yugoslavia. Many of these industries were a product of a socialist planned economy and the unique Yugoslav cooperative model, and they have not been able to adapt when the economy transitioned to a fully market-oriented model in the early 1990s, not last due to many cases of embezzlement and corruption during the hastened privatisation process in the newly formed Republic of Croatia.
The history of Rijeka's organised sports started between 1885 and 1888 with the foundation of the Club Alpino Fiumano in 1885, the Young American Cycle Club in 1887 (the first club of this American league to be founded in a foreign land), and the Nautico Sport Club Quarnero in 1888 by the Hungarian minority of the city. Even earlier, in 1873, following the initiative by Robert Whitehead, the first football match to be disputed in today's Republic of Croatia territory was played in Rijeka: the Hungarian Railways team and the English engineers-led team of the Stabilimento Tecnico di Fiume (later Torpedo Factory of Fiume). The first football club in Fiume was founded under the name of Fiumei Atletikai Club.
Today, HNK Rijeka are the city's main football team. They compete in the Croatian First Football League and were the champions of Croatia in 2016–17. Until July 2015, HNK Rijeka were based at the iconic Stadion Kantrida. With Kantrida awaiting reconstruction, they are based at the newly-built Stadion Rujevica, their temporary home ground located in the club's new training camp. Additionally, HNK Orijent 1919 are based in Sušak and play in the Croatian Third Football League.
Rijeka's other notable sports clubs include RK Zamet and ŽRK Zamet (handball), VK Primorje EB (waterpolo), KK Kvarner (basketball) and ŽOK Rijeka (women's volleyball).
Rijeka hosted the 2008 European Short Course Swimming Championships. In its more than 80 years of history, LEN had never seen so many records set as the number of them set at Bazeni Kantrida (Kantrida Swimming Complex). A total of 14 European Records were set of which 10 World Records and even 7 World Best Times. This championship also presented a record in the number of participating countries. There were more than 600 top athletes, from some 50 European countries. Swimmers from 21 nations won medals and 40 of the 51 national member Federations of LEN were present in Rijeka.
The political situation deteriorated further as Radić was assassinated in the National Assembly in 1928, leading to the dictatorship of King Alexander in January 1929. The dictatorship formally ended in 1931 when the king imposed a more unitarian constitution, and changed the name of the country to Yugoslavia. The HSS, now led by Vladko Maček, continued to advocate federalisation of Yugoslavia, resulting in the Cvetković–Maček Agreement of August 1939 and the autonomous Banovina of Croatia. The Yugoslav government retained control of defence, internal security, foreign affairs, trade, and transport while other matters were left to the Croatian Sabor and a crown-appointed Ban.
In April 1941, Yugoslavia was occupied by Germany and Italy. Following the invasion the territory, parts of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the region of Syrmia were incorporated into the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), a Nazi-backed puppet state. Parts of Dalmatia were annexed by Italy, and the northern Croatian regions of Baranja and Međimurje were annexed by Hungary. The NDH regime was led by Ante Pavelić and ultranationalist Ustaše.
A resistance movement soon emerged. On 22 June 1941, the 1st Sisak Partisan Detachment was formed near Sisak, as the first military unit formed by a resistance movement in occupied Europe. This sparked the beginning of the Yugoslav Partisan movement, a communist multi-ethnic anti-fascist resistance group led by Josip Broz Tito. The movement grew rapidly and at the Tehran Conference in December 1943 the Partisans gained recognition from the Allies.
With Allied support in logistics, equipment, training and air power, and with the assistance of Soviet troops taking part in the 1944 Belgrade Offensive, the Partisans gained control of Yugoslavia and the border regions of Italy and Austria by May 1945, during which thousands of members of the Ustaše, as well as Croat refugees, were killed by the Yugoslav Partisans.
Croatia has a civil law legal system in which law arises primarily from written statutes, with judges serving merely as implementers and not creators of law. Its development was largely influenced by German and Austrian legal systems. Croatian law is divided into two principal areas—private and public law. By the time EU accession negotiations were completed on 30 June 2010, Croatian legislation was fully harmonised with the Community acquis. The main law in the county is the Constitution adopted on December 22, 1990.
The main national courts are the Constitutional Court, which oversees violations of the Constitution, and the Supreme Court, which is the highest court of appeal. In addition, there are also County, Municipal, Misdemeanor, Commercial, and Administrative courts. Cases falling within judicial jurisdiction are in the first instance decided by a single professional judge, while appeals are deliberated in mixed tribunals of professional judges. Lay magistrates also participate in trials. State's Attorney Office is the judicial body constituted of public prosecutors that is empowered to instigate prosecution of perpetrators of offences.
Law enforcement agencies are organised under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior which consist primarily of the national police force. Croatia's security service is the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA).