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Karolina of Rijeka

Karolina of Rijeka

The most well-known person in the history of Rijeka is a woman, Karolina of Rijeka, who during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, saved the city from destruction, and in negotiations with the British admiral John Leard, used her beauty and charm to advantage.

Karolina Belinić was a married mother of three children, who, according to historical documents, in 1813 convinced the commander of the British fleet to cease the shelling of the city. Historical documents about her ancestry and personal life state:

"Karolina Belinić, born Kranjec, was a married woman and the mother of three children, Alpina, Cattarina, and Rosa, who were all born before the attack of the British fleet on the city. Karolina was married to Andrija Belinić from Lovran, who in his capacity of commander of the Rijeka civil guard also participated in the city's resistance to the British fleet, and for which the city magistrate in 1829 conferred public recognition, thanks to a written confirmation by Commander Nugent."

A portrait of Karolina Belinić is kept in the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Primorje in Rijeka. Karolina's historical role began in 1813, because of the unenviable situation at the entrance to the port of Rijeka. In order to make the survival of Napoleon's army impossible, British ships bombarded Rijeka (as testimony to this event, on the outer wall of the Cathedral of St. Vitus there is a cannon ball stuck into the facade). Young Karolina, resolved to help her city, went to the ship of the British admiral and, using her feminine charms in the negotiations with the admiral, saved the city.  
 

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