Buildings renovation

At the former Rikard Benčić factory on Krešimirova Street in Rijeka, three industrial heritage buildings are being renovated and will be repurposed into cultural buildings that will house: The City Museum of Rijeka, the Rijeka City Library and the Children’s House, the first building of its kind in Croatia, dedicated to the development of creativity in children. The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has already moved into the Benčić complex, which was refurbished in the first phase, and will continue its expansion into the remaining areas in the current building. The ship Galeb is also being renovated and repurposed into a museum ship and a cultural and tourist attraction in Rijeka. Rijeka has received grants in the amount of almost 140 million HRK from the EU for these renovations, with the buildings and structures being completed and slated to open during 2020 and partly in 2021.

The premises of RiHub on Grohovac Street in Rijeka, as the information centre for the European Capital of Culture and as a place for bringing citizens together, conducting training sessions, working together and developing creativity, has also been refurbished. In 2020, the ECoC press centre for Croatian and foreign reporters will also be relocated there.

The aforementioned renovations are being carried out by the City of Rijeka as part of the activities undertaken by its Department of Culture.

Exportdrvo at Delta, a large industrial building that will host a significant portion of the ECoC programme in 2020, is being refurbished in cooperation with the Port Authority.

The cultural programme of the European Capital of Culture will bring about additional refurbishments as part of the Sweet & Salt flagship, which will alter the parts of Rijeka by the sea (salt) and the Rječina River (sweet).  Also, in areas along the coast and in Rijeka itself, renowned and acclaimed international and Croatian artists are creating and installing various permanent art sculptures. Thus the European Capital of Culture programme provides a new cultural tourism route in Kvarner as part of the Lungomare Art flagship.

The cultural tourism route Following the Paths of the Frankopan Family, which includes the renovation of 17 Frankopan castles and three religious sites in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, is also being prepared. The renovation of the castles is carried out by Primorje-Gorski Kotar County as part of the EU project Following the Paths of the Frankopan Family.

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has been housed in the Benčić art neighbourhood since 2017.


In September of 2018, RiHub was refurbished and opened to the public as the European Capital of Culture information hub.

Rijeka City Museum

Following the renovation and refurbishment of the so-called Sugar Refinery Palace, the City Museum of Rijeka will be relocated to the art neighbourhood in the location of the former Rikard Benčić factory.

Children's House

The Children's House, the first building of its kind in Croatia, will be located in the Brick building of the old Benčić complex, which was once a tobacco curing chamber, following its renovation.

The ship Galeb

Rijeka is renovating a ship that is a symbol and a witness of the political and social history of the 20th century.

Rijeka City Library

The T-Building of the Benčić complex will provide adequate area, interior design and functional spatial design to meet the City Library’s needs and thus become a cultural public service for people of all ages.


In 2020, the Exportdrvo hall will host an array of exhibitions, concerts and other events of the ECoC 2020 programme.