Written by: Nataša Papić Krešić
Welcome to the ‘city that flows’. To the city where you cannot go thirsty, which is proud of its water and considers it - the best water in the world. Every resident of Rijeka will tell you that because the connection of this city to the water is really special. Whether you're walking along the Rječina, drinking tap water, or carrying umbrellas in the wettest city in Croatia... there is simply no escaping water in Rijeka. The identity of this city speaks through its name. The city which lies on numerous springs and wells took its name from the mighty karst beauty, the 18-kilometer long Rječina, which has always been supplying it with water.
Rijeka is so lucky that in this area there is a sufficient number and satisfactory yield of typically karst springs of fresh water along the sea. Generations before us knew how to appreciate this. The tradition of the public water supply in Sušak is 130 years long, and in Rijeka it is a mere nine years younger. Without Rječina there would have been no great industrial upsurge in Rijeka in the previous century, of which we are reminded today only by the rich legacy of magnificent buildings of industrial heritage.
From a Rijeka glass to the Rijeka water fountains
That industry is now gone, as it gave way to tourism and culture, but the water is still as important to the city in which you simply cannot go thirsty. You can drink water on the main Rijeka promenade, the famous Corso, directly from a water fountain, and see for yourself that the generally accepted assessment of the residents of Rijeka that their water is the best in the world is true. And that it is the water of Rijeka that they miss the most when leaving the city. At a time when drinking water is becoming the greatest wealth, and its consumption ‘directly from a water fountain’ a somewhat forgotten experience, in Rijeka, you can be sure of its safety, quality, and excellent taste. So in the hot summer months make sure you reach for the healthiest, always available, and free liquid from the new Rijeka water fountains... There is one at the junction of Corso and Trg 128. Brigade HV, the second near the Friendship Fountain at Jelačić Square, the third near the Trsat stairs, and the fourth near the Zamet Center... You can drink the clean and renowned Rijeka water from water fountains, from specially designed glasses, in many restaurants in the city centre.
The design of the glasses is inspired by historical items that are kept in the museums of Rijeka, including a travel glass of His Majesty Joseph the Second, who, during a visit to Rijeka in 1775 donated the glass to the city. The first Rijeka museum was created thanks to the presented glass from this imperial guest. The successor of the museum is the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral.
The new Rijeka glass is designed in a special package with coasters, and you can buy it and take it to home as a keepsake of your stay in the ‘city that flows’. But first take a good drink of water from the water fountains of Rijeka. As the old saying goes “Whoever drinks the Rijeka water once will eventually come back again!”