City Tower, a symbol of Rijeka and a good example of a typical round tower access-point, which lead into the fortified town. Today it dominates the central part of Korzo, although during its lifetime it was overtopped by more recently constructed buildings.
It was built in the Middle Ages, probably on the foundations of the Late Antique littoral town gates. Some baroque phases of its construction can be seen on the lower part of the front of the Tower, which are characterised by a richly decorated portal, an imperial coat of arms carved out of stone and a relief of the Austrian emperors Leopold and Charles VI. Rijeka paid them special respect due to the maritime orientation they introduced into the state policies of the Austrian court. The Tower’s superstructure, on which a city clock has been situated since the 17th century, has been remodelled several times; most significantly at the turn of the 18th century under the guidance of municipal engineer A. Gnamb, the last time was at the end of the 19th century, based on a design by F. Bazarig.
A Rijeka City coat of arms, sculptured in high relief, is situated below the City Tower’s clock. The emperor Leopold I. Habsburg granted it to Rijeka in 1659. Rijeka's eagle has now replaced the traditional medieval protector St. Vitus in official communications. The heads of Rijeka’s double-headed eagle are peculiar in heraldic terms as they look in the same direction. The eagle holds an urn in its claws from which an inexhaustible supply of water is running. This is supposed to symbolise the infinite loyalty of the city to the Austrian emperor. This “inexhaustibility", an integral part of the coat of arms, is bolstered by the motto INDEFICIENTER (inexhaustible, unfailing), for this purpose carved out in the new Latin language.
The sculpture of Rijeka’s double-headed eagle was once situated on top of the tower’s turret. After the First World War, Italian soldiers chopped off one head to make it less similar to the Austrian eagle and more like the Roman one. It was then completely removed after the Second World War. A replica of the Rijeka two-headed eagle has been placed atop the dome of the City Tower on 19 April 2017. The sculpture was made by the classically trained sculptor Hrvoje Uremović, who modelled it in accordance with the guidelines of the Conservation Department in Rijeka and the existing archive materials. The sculpture is a carbon copy of the replica of the historic sculpture, which dates back to 1906. It was made at the Art Foundry of the Academy of Fine Arts d.o.o. in Zagreb. The sculpture is made of aluminium and weighs approximately 270 kg. It is 255 cm tall and has a wingspan of 300 cm. The sculpture is positioned at a height of 30 m.
Along the sides of the tower, early classical palaces were built as annexes, construction commencing at the end of the 18th century immediately after the demolition of the city walls, which was authorised by the Austrian emperor Joseph II. In the passage by the tower that leads to Rijeka’s Old Town, which once represented the main door of the fortified town and was locked at night, there are memorial inscriptions and a medieval gothic master-stonemason’s signature has been preserved.