Fiumare Festival: History of Trade, Crafts, and Traditional Boats in Rijeka

Total Croatia News

N. Demark

The 6th edition of ‘Fiumare – Kvarner Festival of the Sea and Maritime Tradition’ was announced yesterday at Botel Marina in Rijeka, reports Novi list. Starting on 31 May, the week-long festival will take us back 100 years, to the time when the area of Fiumara – the canal in the centre of the city that’s called the Dead Canal these days – used to be the place of intensive commerce and trade on a daily basis.

The official opening ceremony will take place on 1 June at 12:30 in front of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc, accompanied by a rich cultural programme. This year brings some new additions, such as the reenactment of the historic event when Rijeka successfully forestalled a siege by the British Navy in 1813. The spectacle is taking place on 2 June in the waters in front of the Pier of Karolina Riječka, featuring the ships Kraljica mora (Queen of the sea), Otac Roko (Father Roko), Paša, and other traditional sailboats from Istria and Kvarner.


(Fiumara in the early 20th century. Source: Riječka enciklopedija – Fluminensia)


‘Fiumare’ will serve as a sort of a time machine, taking us out of our contemporary daily life and back to the maritime history and mercantile tradition of Rijeka. Apart from traditional boats that will be put on display at Korzo, the main promenade in the centre, a large number of vessels will occupy the harbour. Merchants and craftsmen wearing traditional costumes from all parts of Kvarner will be walking around the city and promoting old crafts. Guided tours around the historical locations in Rijeka will be organised for interested visitors, as well as interactive workshops, exhibitions, lectures and related museum programmes.

Mayor Vojko Obersnel stated that the Kvarner Festival of the Sea and Maritime Tradition has grown into a respectable manifestation over the last six years, and that this year’s edition will see more than 40 various events at 24 locations in Rijeka. The City procured funds for the reconstruction of eight traditional boats that will be carried out by the masters of the craft.

The festival is organised by more than 30 partners, including all museums in Rijeka, the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Rijeka, Astronomical Centre Rijeka, Art cinema Croatia, City Library Rijeka and the University Library.


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