Rijeka in History: A Look at Sušak in 1934 (Video)

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A rare look at the city of Rijeka in history, on April 16, 2018

Have you seen this video of Split in 1934 that we recently published? Well, it’s not often that we get to see what two of the biggest cities in Croatia used to look like in the same year in history. But today, we got lucky: the Jugoslovenska Kinoteka (Yugoslav Film Archive) released some rare footage filmed in Rijeka in 1934.

The video shows a part of the city which is nowadays known as Sušak neighbourhood, but back in the day, Sušak used to be a city on its own. In the early 1920s, Rijeka was a part of the independent Free State of Fiume, created under the Treaty of Rapallo in 1920; a couple of years later, it was annexed to Italy as the Province of Fiume. Sušak, on the other hand, belonged to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. If you were to take a stroll through downtown Rijeka these days, you wouldn’t even think of two separate cities having existed in the area, let alone two countries, and yet, the Rječina river once stood as the international border between Rijeka and Sušak.


A view of Rijeka and Rječina river, once an international border

This year, we’re marking the 70th anniversary of the unification of the two cities on Rječina: the first session of the newly formed City Council of Rijeka took place on February 12, 1948.

We’ll soon take a closer look to Rijeka’s fascinating history in a separate feature, but for now, let’s go back to our footage: the Jugoslovenska Kinoteka dug up a long-lost video from their archives, providing us with a glimpse into the historic city od Sušak in mid-30s, brought to our attention in collaboration with Morski.

As we wrote once before, the Jugoslovenska Kinoteka is the national film archive of the Republic of Serbia founded in 1949. “The organization aims to collect, process, preserve and show domestic and foreign features, documentaries, animated films and film newsreels, as well as other materials significant for the history of cinematography.”

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Another part of the series ‘Under the Yugoslav Sky’, the video first shows the interior and exterior of Hotel Jadran (which is still in operation, by the way), along with a merry crew of beach-goers and tourists having a good time and posing for the camera, showing off their modern swimming suits.

‘Sušak is a city of commerce located on the Northern Adriatic’, says a caption in the video, which then turns to some shots of the Sušak port, jam-packed with ships getting loaded with cargo.

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Take a look at Sušak ‘as it once was’ in the video below:


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