Maritime and History Museum of Croatian Littoral – story of the waves of human migrations

A wave that cannot be stopped

There are different kinds of arrivals and departures. People travel for very personal reasons. What can each journey bring us?  Entertainment? Learning? Tolerance to difference? Earning? New perspectives?

150 years ago, people travelled from the Port of Rijeka. Carrying hard shell suitcases, twice of their own height, they were running away from poverty. In search of the promised land, often not knowing where exactly they were going to. Those men were departing with an idea of coming back to their families being able to offer them a better life.

How did the journey look like?
People packed like sardines in steerage, being hungry and hoping to see the land through a small porthole, full of fear and hope. Every person with their own, unique story never told.

On one of those voyages, after 1903 when an emigration line between Rijeka and New York was introduced, ship Carpathia received an SOS signal from Titanic. The crew arrived to the site and rescued 706 passengers, heading afterwards for New York. One of the sailors was from Rijeka and he brought a life jacket which is today kept in Maritime and History Museum of Croatian Littoral in Rijeka.
Mass migrations led to opening of the Hotel of Emigrants in 1908, which accepted up to 2000 emigrants on daily basis. It’s estimated that in 100 years 50 000 000  people emigrated from the port of Rijeka.

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