Rijeka is reflected in Korzo, at Korzo you can read Rijeka. Anyone who, at least once, had a coffee at one of the terraces of numerous and picturesque café bars lined along this unusual promenade, would agree. Anyone who was at least once sitting on one of the benches placed at Korzo, precisely for this purpose, as well as-those who were looking at the most picturesque city’s street from the “top” of some of the most popular meeting places of Rijeka’s citizens, located at the top floors of buildings.
Rijeka’s citizens are loyal to Korzo in both their winter coats and fluttering summer dresses. They equally visit it under umbrellas and when blown by the bora, a wind that is, just like Korzo, a specific feature of this town built along the riverbanks, oriented towards the sea for centuries. They are here to repel the autumn sorrow and to be the harbingers of spring. Inextricable are the threads connecting Rijeka’s “number 1 street” and its citizens.
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.
Oh, you can’t even imagine how Korzo likes to show off in front of them… It swaggers in the full splendour of its facades on which the rich and turbulent history of Rijeka is written. It struts its fountains, its city clock that like a centuries old guardian watches over this promenade. Korzo also attracts with a rich offer of its souvenir shops, offering “morčić” and “torpedo” as something that belongs only to it, something that will whisper to every traveller even in a hundred years – I am from Rijeka, I am a brand of the city on Rječina.
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.
And while the neighbourhoods at the edge of the city are in deep sleep, Korzo does not need sleep. Every part of it lives its life to the fullest, and has been doing so for centuries.
Korzo through history
As early as at the beginning of the 20th century Korzo started to assume its modern-day outlines. The main promenade and the meeting point for Rijeka's citizens, as well as the area for erecting the symbolic palaces representing various styles including the Classical, Historical, Secessional, Modernist… The urban regulation, taking place in the mid-19th century, was only a prelude to a growing pace of reclamation and major public constructions which would soon ensue on the made up ground. However, already at that point the centuries old image of a littoral town straitened by its walls started to fade away. Today, it is hard to believe that until the moat was filled and the city walls pulled down, in the second half of the 18th century, this was only gravel seashore with a few wooden quays and storehouses, a shipyard and the city lodge next to which cereals, fish and salt were traded.