Author: Ervin Dubrović
Publisher: City Museum of Rijeka, 2020
Format: 21.5 x 13 cm, paperback, illustrations, 144 pages
The most valuable exhibit of the City Museum of Rijeka is the Sugar Palace. The Palace was built as one of the facilities of Rijeka’s sugar refinery complex. The sugar refinery marked the beginning of Rijeka’s industrial story in 1750 by the Dutch-based company Arnoldt & Co. The plant was on a coastal part of the city suitable for sailing ships to drop their anchors and unload their cargo of raw sugar right in front of the refinery’s gate. In 1826, the refinery was shut down; however, the factory complex soon began to fulfil new purposes. The Hungarian army used it from 1832 to 1848 as military barracks, and in 1851, it was turned into a tobacco factory. From 1947 to 1998, the factory complex housed the Rikard Benčić Engine Factory.
The well-kept Sugar Palace represents the largest Neo-Baroque building on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea. In the new millennium, it has been transformed into a part of the city with new contents. The City Museum has arranged a permanent display in it. The Palace opened its doors to the public in 2020. The permanent exhibition is in the central part of the Palace. On the first and second floor of the Palace, the visitor can learn more about the history of Rijeka from the 18th century, when Rijeka began to rise as a central European port and an industrial hub, all the way to the end of the 20th century. The second floor tells the story of the former industrial complex where the Museum is located.