Old Gates in Rijeka, Old Gates in Rijeka, Old Gates in Rijeka
The Old Gates in Rijeka are one of the most striking and oldest cultural-archaeological monuments that can be seen, not just in Rijeka, but rather in entire Croatia. It was long believed that the Old Gates – or the Roman Arch – in Rijeka are the triumphal arch that was raised in the honor of the Emperor Claudius. However newer archaeological discoveries have disproved that claim, and they proved that the arch was in fact an entrance into the old Roman castrum, rather than a triumphal arch. The arch is the oldest architectural monument in all of Rijeka, and it dates back to the late-antic period.
As noted above, for a long time people believed that this was a triumphal arch. It has been intriguing humanistic scientist ever since the 1700, with various people offering various explanations about the role of the arch. Archaeologist Peter Kandler believed that it was a part of the city door of the old settlement of Trasatica, as did multiple others, until a historian from Rijeka named L. G. Cimotti proved that the arch was in fact an entrance into the castrum. The modern archaeologist Mate Duić further defined that it was a part of the entrance into Principij. This claim is substantiated due to the fact that it is the only monumental piece that is facing the sea. This was further proven in 1955 when they discovered the remains of late-antic walls as a part of the forefront of the Church of Saint Sebastian, which belonged to Principij castrum. The plating of the Old Gates – Arch was only partially preserved. It has eroded over time and the pieces that have fallen off have been gathered and then built into the walls of houses – as building material – which were built in area where Principij was standing.
You don’t have to pay an entrance fee in order to see this impressive piece of history, as it is located literally in the street. You can just wander through the streets of Rijeka in search for anything interesting and you will come across it.
The local name for the monument is Stara vrata (Old Gates) or Rimski luk (Roman Arch).