Fortification Sv. Križ 1

A hill of Sv. Križ, above Martinšćica, Rijeka, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Croatia
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Year of build:
Original name:
Fortification Sveta Ana
Military architecture
Past and Present Ownership of the Building/Site:

Public (Grad Rijeka)

Typology and Style

This World War II military 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

A good degree of conservation. Unfinished (unbuilt) underground cave-like tunnels, while the bunkers have been entirely constructed. The bunkers have "gang" inscriptions on the walls, by those who played here. It has no status as a cultural heritage.

Architectural Description

The underground part of the fortification is unbuilt though completely mined and leads to two battle positions and two concrete bunkers. In a part of a tunnel, the construction of the wall has began and it is interesting to see the way it was done at the time.

"The larger of the two fortifications had a single combat block facing the Draška Valley to control traffic on the railway and the road to Zagreb. From the example of this bunker it can be clearly seen how much attention was paid to the appropriate camouflage, where besides the basic mass of concrete, specially shaped layers of stone and concrete were added, in order to give the bunker the appearance of karst rocks. Camouflage of the other combat blocks of these fortifications was not completed, while the observation block of the larger fortification remained unfinished.”

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

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.”

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


"Rimski ugovor". 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

This site has primarily historical and architectural value and is important to the local community, perhaps more because of the landscape than the fortifications themselves, although many stories related to the Battle of Rijeka come from the slopes of Sv. Križ, that is Sv. Ana. In the 1990s, children living in the Vežica skyscrapers came here to play their imaginary wars, while the Homeland War was ongoing in the eastern parts of the country. According to their stories, their inspiration were American films popular in the 80's, such as Warriors, where gangs clashed with each other and members went through the process of initiation. In the same way boys from the surrounding skyscrapers gathered at Sv. Križ where they would spend time in their sometimes not so harmless initiation games.

Description of the Urban Context and Development

In the immediate vicinity of the residential settlement of Gornja Vežica and the Astronomical Centre, is the stony hill of Sv. Križ, which hides a few unfinished fortifications.

New Cultural Tourist Offer Focused on Selected Building/Site

In 2004, five sub-committees were formed within the Gornja Vežica Local Board, including the Sv. Križ Instructive Path. The Sv. Križ Instructive Path was imagined as part of an existing park project on the Sv. Križ within the Gornja Vežica settlement. Through such projects, it is possible to present bunkers to the local community.