The city of Rijeka is renowned for its multiculturalism, and it proudly holds, according to many, one of the most beautiful mosques in Europe; which was opened in 2013. The Islamic Centre Rijeka with its mosque is located at the area of Gornji Zamet that offers a spectacular view of the Kvarner Bay. The location or, more importantly, the architectural solutions are responsible for taking the visitor's breath away.

 

It is a collaboration between the sculptor Dušan Džamonja, who sadly passed away before it was opened, and architects Branko Vučinović and Darko Vlahović from the “ADB” bureau in Zagreb. The great wish of Džamonja was to build a mosque and he often said it should look like a sculpture, as is the shape of Rijeka's current mosque.

 

The monumental indented sphere with a stainless steel protective layer, composed out of six spherical sections in the contours and glass crevices in which appears the Islamic half-moon symbol, rises from the square paved in Travertine stone which reminded the artist of desert sand. The square underneath the underground level of the Islamic Centre was conceived as a pedestal in the centre of which is the mosque with a 23 metres high minaret.

 

The complex is decorated with three fountains since the element of water has a special meaning as a symbol of purity in Islamic architecture. The first level under the mosque contains hospitality facilities open for all users, a multi-purpose hall for various social and cultural gatherings, offices and verandas - special rooms intended for discussions amongst its female attendees. The Islamic centre includes classrooms for religious classes and a kindergarten for preschoolers. The complex has an underground garage and an outer area for walks. The section for prayer can hold up to 1,400 people.