Rijeka (Croatian pronunciation: [rijɛ̌ːka]; Italian: Fiume; Hungarian: Fiume; Slovene: Reka, German: Sankt Veit am Flaum, other names) is the principal seaport and the third-largest city in Croatia (after Zagreb and Split). It is located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea and has a population of 128,624 inhabitants (2011). The metropolitan area, which includes adjacent towns and municipalities, has a population of more than 240,000.
In 2016, Rijeka was selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2020, alongside Galway, Ireland.
Historically, because of its strategic position and its excellent deep-water port, the city was fiercely contested, especially among Italy, Hungary (serving as the Kingdom of Hungary's largest and most important port), and Croatia, changing hands and demographics many times over centuries. According to the 2011 census data, the overwhelming majority of its citizens (82.52%) are presently Croats, along with small numbers of Bosniaks, Italians and Serbs.
Rijeka is the main city of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The city's economy largely depends on shipbuilding (shipyards "3. Maj" and "Viktor Lenac Shipyard") and maritime transport. Rijeka hosts the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, first built in 1765, as well as the University of Rijeka, founded in 1973 but with roots dating back to 1632 School of Theology.
Linguistically, apart from Croatian, the population also uses its own unique version of the Venetian language, (Fiumano), with an estimated 20,000 speakers among the autochtone Croats and various minorities. Historically Fiumano served as a lingua franca for the many ethnicities inhabiting the multicultural port-town.
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