After first and second part of trilogy of Advent in Rijeka, the third and the last part of trilogy is city center Christmas Market. What to say about advent in the heart of the city? I had high expectations, though, it’s the center of the city. The city that is the European Capital of Culture 2020. I expect glamor, overstatement, glare, to feel that Christmas spirit, to enter in another fairy tale. Whole I get are closed most of the Christmas cottages and few Christmas lights with the poorly decorated tree. Oh, what a disappointment.
I was at city center on the 4th of January 2020. I was expecting that the Christmas market is still open, at least until 6th of January. Well, it isn’t. Everything looked so sad, devastated, empty, it wasn’t a pretty sight. My joyful Christmas feeling was submerged. The Christmas Markets in the city center is located in several locations. Every location has its history, spirit, but its spirit didn’t highlight, it’s done hardly anything.
Ivan Kobler Square
Passing under the round City Tower, the former main medieval town entrance that gave access to the coast, you enter the center of Rijeka’s Old Town. The oldest known of Rijeka’s municipal palaces is also preserved at the northern end of Ivan Kobler Square. Rijeka’s naturalized architect Antonio Verneda redesigned the palace in the baroque style of the late 18th century. Under the prevailing baroque forms, the remains of the medieval edifice are clearly visible. Like the many other important buildings of medieval Rijeka, the palace is situated at the intersection of two former main streets (Dekuman and Kardo), which follow the earlier urban street layout of antiquity. Council meetings were held in that building right up until 1838. (source)
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Rijeka’s Paper Factory, the oldest in this part of Europe, a fountain was built in 1974 at Ivan Kobler Square based upon a design by Rijeka architect Igor Emili using paper press equipment (tijesak) made in the factory. (source)
Square of Riječka Rezolucija
Since 1700 the Square of Riječka rezolucija has served as a playground for the children of the patricians, and this is where Stendarac is located, a stone flagpole erected as instructed by Emperor Maximilian in memory of city’s loyalty during the Venetian occupation in 1508 and as confirmation of the political rights of the city. It was originally located in front of the old City Hall on Kobler Square, but over the years it has often changed its location. More than 2 m high flagpole is decorated with three inscriptions that date back to 1509, 1515 and 1766, as well as with a relief of St. Vitus holding a model of the city in his hand. (source)
Korzo is the place where people gather and move apart, where they hang out, do business, make acquaintances, but also go shopping. The citizens of Rijeka can do whatever they want at Korzo. They can see and be seen. Some would say that Korzo is the place where the live city newspapers are written daily. They are both written and read by the citizens themselves, but also by all those who come to Rijeka from all over the world. (source)
Korzo is the place where you can hear the typical rhythm of Rijeka’s steps which, regardless of the time of day, echo through this main Rijeka’s street. Thousands of sounds are merging here. And the smells… That of the morning coffee, delicious pizza or seafood coming from some of the numerous restaurants located close to Korzo. And the evening smell, imbued with a “youthful touch”, the touch of going out and having a good time. Because an evening or a night at Korzo are synonyms for entertainment. It is the time when café bars become clubs, and laugh and music is what dominates Korzo. (source)
Where to stay
Apartments Babic are located on Korzo promenade, a 10-minute walk from The Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral and 1.3 km from The Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc. Rooms are modern designed with fresh and clean decorations. All rooms has air-condition with view of the city and free WiFi.
The Rijeka really needs to be visited. It is a beautiful city with a rich history and many preserved historical remains. City center Christmas market wasn’t as expected, but this city has plenty to show beside Advent.