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The city is called Rijeka in Croatian, Reka in Slovene, and Reka or Rika in other Croatian dialects. Rijeka is located in western Croatia, 131 kilometres (81 miles) southwest of the capital, Zagreb, on the northern coast of Rijeka Bay (14 ° 26 'east longitude 45 ° 21' north latitude), as part of a larger Kvarner Gulf of the Adriatic Sea, which is a large bay Mediterranean Sea most deeply indented to the European mainland.The Bay of Rijeka, which is bordered by Vela Vrata (between Istria and the island of Cres), Srednja Vrata (between Cres and Krk Island) and Mala Vrata (between Krk and the mainland) is connected to the Bay of Kvarner and is deep enough (about fifty metres or 160 feet) for the biggest sailing ships.After coming under Habsburg rule in 1466, the town was attacked and plundered by Venetian forces in 1509.While Ottoman forces attacked the town several times, they never occupied it.From the 16th century onwards, Rijeka was largely rebuilt in its present Renaissance and Baroque style.Emperor Charles VI declared the Port of Rijeka a free port (together with the Port of Trieste) in 1719 and had the trade route to Vienna expanded in 1725.The first route is to the Pannonian Basin given that Rijeka is located alongside the narrowest point of the Dinaric Alps (about fifty kilometres or 31 miles).

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Two important land transport routes start in Rijeka due to its location.

Trsat Castle and the town was rebuilt under the rule of the House of Frankopan.

In 1288 the Rijeka citizens signed the Law codex of Vinodol, one of the oldest codes of law in Europe.

In 2016, Rijeka was selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2020, alongside Galway, Republic of Ireland.

Historically, Rijeka was also called Tharsatica, Vitopolis, or Flumen in Latin.

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