July 17, 2013

0747 CROATIA (Primorje-Gorski Kotar) - Saint Vitus Cathedral in Rijeka

Founded by Celts as Tarsatica and became municipium under the Romans as Flumen, the current city Rijeka was ruled successively, from the 5th century onwards, by the Ostrogoths, the Byzantines, the Lombards, the Avars, the Franks, the Croats, the Hungarians and the Venetians before coming under the control of the Archduchy of Austria in 1466, where it remained for over 450 years, since 1723 as free port. Because of its strategic position (on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea), and of its deep-water port, the city was fiercely contested among Italy, Hungary, and Croatia, changing hands and demographics many times over centuries.

After the 4th century, Rijeka was rededicated to St. Vitus, the city's patron saint, and, of course, its main church was also dedicated to this saint from Sicily who died as a martyr in 303. The Church of St. Vitus was in Middle Ages a small romanesque church, but with the arrival of the Jesuits, the church as we see it today was founded in 1638, becoming cathedral in 1922. It’s a rotunda, which is unusual in this part of Europe, with elements of baroque and Gothic, including baroque statuary inside.

A legend say that a certain Petar Lončarić was playing cards outside the church, and in a fit of pique because he losing, threw a stone at the crucifix. Then the figure of Christ started bleeding, and the ground opened and swallowed up the man, leaving just his arm waving. It was cut off and burned in public.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of a set of three, featuring Spring flower species as part of a flora series. Issued on March 15, 2012, it contain the following species:
Snowdrop / Galanthus nivalis (1.60 HRK)
Primrose / Primula vulgaris (3.10 HRK) - it's on this postcard
Spring crocus / Crocus Vernus (4.60 HRK)

Rijeka - Wikipedia
St. Vitus Cathedral - In your pocket
Spring Flowers of Croatia - Flora Fauna on Stamp

sender: Dragan Buškulić (direct swap)
sent from Rijeka (Croatia), on 03.07.2012

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