Palazzo Modello

address: 23 Matije Gupca Street
Period: Historicism
Kind: Immovable material heritage
Century: 19
Year: 1883
Purpose: cultural

The Palace Modello was built in the period from 1883 to 1885 according to the idea by the famous architects Fellner and Helmer, responsible for the project of the theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka. The palace was constructed at the location of the demolished Adamić Theatre and it was originally designed for business-residential purpose. Giovanni Ciotta, the then mayor of Rijeka, is responsible for the construction of the palace. A memorial plaque dedicated to Ciotta, was made by Pietro Zambo in 1897.

The Baroque and Renaissance neo-style dominates on this monumental palace, rich with sculptural relief decorations, two-floor pilasters, Corinthian columns and mansard windows. The author of the architectural ornaments is the sculptor from Rijeka Vatroslav Donegani, while the bars of wrought iron on windows and stairs were made by the Matija Dumičić workshop. The palace was built during cholera epidemics and it was a space intended for Rijeka Savings Bank. The area of the piano nobile, i.e. the first floor, was taken over by the second floor with large stone balustrades and round windows with shell-like areas within which busts were situated. Viennese type of building, the so-called Vienna ring, has a significant influence on the entire decoration and style of the palace.

The interior is also specific for its neo-Baroque characteristics, while abundance is recognized in the shape of the staircase and the festive hall, as well as the use of various material such as marble, stucco decorations, panelling, gilding and cast iron.

Today, the Palace Modello is the location of the City Library Rijeka, the offices of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc and the Italian Community of Rijeka – Circolo. 



The porch was restored in 2012. The Palace has been conserved.


State Archives in Rijeka, CassaComunale di Risparmio – facciata verso il Lido, JU-51, 1913.

Edilizia, La Bilancia, no. 191, 2, 1883.

Fisković, Cvito, Staro kazalište u Rijeci, in: Rijeka Proceedings, Matica Hrvatska, Zagreb, 1953, p. 470.

Glavočić, Daina, Poslovnepalače, in: Arhitekturahistoricizma u Rijeci, exhibition catalogue, Modern Gallery Rijeka, 2001, pp. 204–205.

IlnuovoedifiziodellaCassacomunale di risparmio, La Bilancia, no. 262, 2, 1883.

Matejčić, Radmila, Kakočitatigrad, Adamić, Rijeka, 2007, pp.  225–227.

Matejčić, Radmila, Povijest gradnje općinskog kazališta u Rijeci, in: Narodno kazališteIvan Zajc, ICR and NK Ivan Zajc, Rijeka, 1981, pp. 1 –17.

Matejčić, Radmila, Razvoj arhitekture 19. stoljeća u Rijeci, Dometi, no.4–5, ICR, Rijeka, 1985, pp. 50–51.

Vižintin Boris, Umjetnička Rijeka 19. stoljeća, Publishing Center Rijeka, Rijeka, 1993, pp. 133–137. 

Vlahov, Silvana, La ScuolaModello, in: Italiani a Fiume, ComunitadegliItaliani, Rijeka, 2006, pp. 299–303.



Tags: palazzomodello, historicism