Pecine, a croatian word for caves, is a sea front suburb in Rijeka, and it was named either after the numerous caves piercing the rocky coastline, or because of the number of large industrial furnaces built there at the beginning of the 19th century.

During the time when Rijeka was under the Austro-Hungarian rule and considered a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, lasting until the end of the First Wold War, the shoreline of Pecine became a desirable residential area.

A stretch of grand colonial palaces and impressive villas surrounded by majestic gardens and decorated with many statues were the homes of influential Austro-Hungarians and powerful croatian families. One of them was family Ruzic, who had some 40 houses and villas throughout the region in their own possession.

Actually, Pecine never had a personal claim to fame, except being the elite suburb of Susak - Susak of course being relevant as the self-contained section of Rijeka which has always belonged to Croatia/Jugoslavia, whilst the north-western region over the Rijecina river, called Fiume, was a part of Italy, together with the entire Istrian peninsula, until 1947.

As it is often the case when socialism supplants capitalism, after the Second World War the spacious homes were appropriated and "distributed" amongst the population. Most of the villas were turned into apartments, and some of them even extended and combined with architectural misfits in order to house as many people as possible.

Today, Pecine is still an elite suburb of Rijeka, but more in name than actual status. The grandiose buildings are dilapidated, gardens neglected, and the noble statues utilized as supports for washing lines. They are left to tell their own tale of time, without real owners, patrons, or resources to revitalize them and give them a badly needed face lift.

Thus the heritage left on this coastline by numerous noble families of Europe is slowly but surely being eradicated - for better or worse :-/

There is however a beautiful beach in Pecine, mainly used by Rijekaís residents, as well as the recently refurbished
Hotel Jadran, occupying an enviable position on the very water front with it's own beach, a good kitchen and a wonderful terrace.

The Turkovic family villa


Villa Olga owned by family Mikulcic


The Ruzic family villa




Citymap of Rijeka
What's on Kvarner
, 1999

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