Bunker Vežica 1

Vežica, overlooking the Draška Valley and Martinšćica Bay., Rijeka, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Croatia
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Year of build:
after 1941
Original name:
Military architecture
Past and Present Ownership of the Building/Site:

Public (Grad Rijeka)

Typology and Style

This World War II military above-ground fortification facility was built after 1941, after Sušak fell under Italian rule. These fortifications were built according to the guidelines given in 1938 in the so-called “Circular 7000”. According to the same, it can be concluded that these fortifications were built as simpler and more economical than those preceding them and were positioned at the locations of the main lines of enemy attacks, probably to further protect the main military stronghold and to expand the line of defence.

Degree of preservation and status of protection

Good degree of conservation. It has no status as a cultural heritage.

Architectural Description

The above-ground reinforced concrete bunker was armed with heavy machine guns and anti-tank gun. The central area was accessed via a tunnel controlled from an embrasure, just as happened with underground fortifications. Combat blocks were accessed from the central building, an area of some 50 square metres, which was probably once divided by partition walls.

History and Historical Context

Treaties of Rome dated 1941. redefine the border of Rijeka and its surroundings once again. According to mentioned treaties, Italy gained possession over the parts of Croatian littoral (including Sušak), parts of Gorski kotar, as well as parts of Dalmatia.

"From the moment of the Italian occupation of the town of Sušak, and its formal annexation to Rijeka within the “Provincia di Fiume”, this town was included among the Italian fortification plans. Authorities from former Yugoslavia did not build any significant fortifications in the town of Sušak, since the main stronghold in the so-called Sector II of the “Rupnik Line” (Yugoslav Defence System of the Western Borders) was Kamenjak above the Grobnik Field, and therefore only a few smaller machine bunkers were built in Sušak.

Unlike the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Italian army envisaged the construction of underground and above ground fortifications in different locations like Trsat and the Sveti Križ hill above Vežica, as well as on the western slopes of Martinšćica Bay.”[1]

The construction of fortifications on the eastern side of the town is linked to the guidelines issued in 1938, "Circular 7000".


"Rimski ugovori". Hrvatska enciklopedija digital edition (Croatian encyclopedia) (in Croatian). Miroslav Krleža Institute in Zagreb

From: TONIĆ V., Tragom „Alpskog bedema“ u Rijeci i Hrvatskoj, Rijeka: Slobodna Država Rijeka, 2011

Values of the Building

Cultural-historical and architectural. Another example of the skilful camouflage of the massive above-ground bunkers.

Description of the Urban Context and Development

In the immediate vicinity of the densely populated residential area of Gornja Vežica. From the nearby skyscrapers one can clearly see the bunker’s concrete “roof”. According to stories this place was a kind of stage where local boys solved their problems and clashed, while the children looked at them from their balconies. More recently, a residential building was built, through which yard it was necessary to pass in order to access the bunker, which has locked door at the entrance.


The archival documentation for the construction of tunnels and bunkers was not found in the State Archives, which is logical given the fact that the construction of these facilities was a very well-kept secret at the time. It is not possible to exclude the possibility of archival documentation on the Rijeka fortifications in the military archive in Rome however, although for this it would be necessary to have a longer period of time for research. The documentation found was collected from private collections from various forums or archives of the Heritage Museum of Drenova.

Vežica 1 Approximate Floor Plan