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5 reasons to visit Rijeka in 2020

24 January 2020 08:49

Make the most of the charming port city on the Adriatic Sea

Make the most of the charming port city on the Adriatic Sea

Croatia's biggest party, a rock band of robots and the fight to save a dying language. Rijeka 2020 has it all...

1. Whizz through the city on a zipline

If you prefer your views of 13th century castles with the wind in your hair at 30mph, Rijeka is the city for you. A 2km-long zipwire from the hilltop Trsat fortress takes tourists through the Rjecina canyon and the city centre ending at former warehouse Exportdrvo on the port. Time things well and you could land on the event space as it hosts one of the Capital of Culture's many exhibitions.

2. Party at Croatia's biggest carnival

The Rijeka Carnival dates back to the 15th century and, after a lull in celebrations, was reintroduced in the 1980s, enjoying a strong revival ever since. Some 100,000 visitors flock to the Kvarner Gulf, with even more expected this year to enjoy the combination of floats, costumes and local rituals. When the procession ends, DJs play long into the night in bars and clubs along the pedestrianised Korzo.

3. Listen to the world's first robot rock band

Experience new-nu-metal through Compressorhead, the world's first rock band to play real instruments, live. Stickboy on drums uses four hands, two legs and the help of Stickboy Junior on the pedal and hi-hat cymbal, to set the pace of their performances. Fingers, plays a Gibson Flying V guitar with ease (well, it has got 76 fingers) along with bassist Bones and the 350kg singer Mega-Wattson. They leave their native Berlin in May to play a free show in Rijeka.

4. Learn an endangered language

Kastav Chavian is a dialect spoken by less than a thousand people. Its home lies just north of Rijeka and the European Capital of Culture is spreading the word, quite literally, for 2020. The traditional Bela Nedeja festival will go beyond its usual traditional crafts and wine offering to present a native heritage curriculum and a reading room for children and adults.

5. Interact with 'Hysterical Machines'

Canadian Bill Vorn brings his exhibition 'Hysterical Machines' to the Exportdrvo in April, a collection of robotic installations which are designed to resemble human beings by behaviour. The interactive ensemble of metal and hydraulics is designed to induce empathy in the viewer for dysfunctional, absurd and deviant beings. The artist hopes to trigger questions about artificial life and the relationship between humans and machines.

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