History of Island

The town of Rab also boasts a long recorded history that dates back to the year 10 BC, when it is mentioned in an old Roman document by which the Roman emperor Octavian Augustus proclaims it a muncipium and grants it independence.

Before long it was given another rare honorary title, that of FELIX (happy); it bears witness to the fact that Rab was already a fully developed and civilised at the time, providing amenities such as running water, baths, temples, a theatre, and a network of streets, to mention just a few.

More than 17 centuries ago a boy by the name Marin was born at Rab. He later learned the craft of stonemason and in search of a job left his home, crossed the Adriatic Sea and landed at a place near today’s Rimini on the Apennine peninsula. His diligence and virtue soon earned him the sympathy of the Christian community he was living in, so eventually bishop Gaudentium made him his deacon. Presecuted because of his propogation of Christianity, Marin fled to the hardly accessible hill Titan and built a small church there.

Monumental Heritage

If we enter the town through one of the town gates, e. g. the "Zlatna vrata" (Golden Gate) we will be attracted by the uncommon peace of the "Gornja ulica" (Upper street). To the right, towards the way out to the park Komrčar there is a "belvedere" on the old tower and the Church of St. Christopher - the Saint patron of the town and the island- now a lapidary and, to the left, a street with its churches and four bell-towers. The only remains of the Church of St. John the Evangelist, a unique Romanesque basilica, are the Romanesque bell-tower, the foundations and parts of the columns of the three-naval church as well as the restored deambulatory. Close by the ruins of the old basilica of St John the Evangelist, stands the Church of the Holy Weeping Cross where, according to records a miracle happened, i.e. the cross started to weep.

On the "Trg Slobode" (Square of Liberty) stands a bell-tower and the St. Justine's Church, built in the 16th century for the Benedictine convent, which has been now transformed into a sacral art museum. Not far from St. Justine's Church stands the St. Andrija's church and bell-tower together with the Benedictine nuns' convent. The Church was built in Romanesque three-naval style and has a magnificent baroque altar. The bell-tower is from the year 1181 and it is the oldest bell-tower in Rab.

At the end of "Gornja ulica", close to the monastery erected on a cliff which precipitates towards the sea, stands the Church of the Assumption, the former cathedral. Its building began in 1118 and it was consecrated by Pope Alexander III in person. It is a sumptuous Romanesque basilica and what particularly attracts attention is the altar with ciborium from the 8th century, the Late Gothic chorus seats and St. Christopher's statue from the 12th century.The bell-tower of this basilica is detached from the church, it dominates the town and ranks among the most beautiful buildings in Late Romanesque style in our country.
Let us also mention the St. Francis' Church situated near the local cemetery, near which the monastery of Franciscans of the Third order (Glagolitic priests) was also erected.

Kampor is famous for its Francisan monastery and St. Euphemia's Church. They were founded in 1446. The valuable museum and gallery of fra Amroz Testen are situated in the monastery.

In Supetarska Draga stays the St. Peter's Church close to the abandoned Benedictine convent, built in Romanesque style by the middle of the 11th century, one of the most important buildings from that period on Croatian soil.

Crossbowman from Rab

Among numerous historical events, the inhabitants of Rab have reintroduced the old knights games, established in Rab as far back as 1364. Since their reintroduction in 1995 the games have become the central cultural event of this island.

The knights' competition is preceded by a medieval ceremony, announced the day before by a herald by means of proclamation and drums. The ceremony starts in the overcrowded town with the arrival of the Prince and his escort to the town loggia where they are welcomed by cross-bowers, musicians and ensigns. Accompanied by strong drum beating, by the sound of fanfares and bell- ringing the participants pass through the streets of the town towards the Cathedral, to get the blessing.On St. Christopher's square, before the Town gates, the Games are solemnly opened by the Prince. The town's flag is hoisted on the mast accompanied by sound of fanfares and at the sign of the "honourable judge" the knights start their competition. By predefined order twelve knights draw the cross-bow, directing the arrow to the target. The winner is the competitor whose arrow hits the point nearest to the centre of the target. The Rab Prince proclaims the winner of the Games and hands the prize "Felix" over to him. The Rab knights games conclude with the musicians' and ensigns' program and with the solemn march-past of all participants, in Renaissance costumes.

The antique cross-bow - nowadays still used only by the "balestrieri" from San Marino in their games - is a peculiarity of the Rab knights games. In the Middle Ages it was used by the Rab people to defend their town from attackers , so that the games were introduced in honour of this defence and of their patron, St. Christopher. They games used to be held twice a year: on May 9 (Dies Victoriae) and on July 27 (Dies Natalis). These were the biggest celebrations which lasted for seven full days. The re-established games are also held on May 30 and July 27, while a solemn march-past in the town is organised on Assumption day, too. On these occasions Rab offers to its visitors a whole series of programs worth seeing.

Rabska Fjera

A medieval summer festival that Rab inhabitants revived out of many historic events together with the old knights' games dating as far back as the year 1364. Today the manifestation is a memory of Old Rab celebrating its free and independent municipality. The games were revived in 1995 and since the year 2002 the Rab Fair has become the central cultural event in the area.

Nowadays the Rab Fair festivities are held on three holidays – 25th July, St. James, 26th July, St. Anna and 27th July St. Christopher. It is a memento of the traditional merrymaking that used to last for three days, when the town gates were wide open to everyone and knights' games were held. Today again on this occasion, the prince of Rab awards the prize «Felix» to the winner, while musicians, flag-bearers and the ceremonial parade of all participants dressed up in Renaissance costumes are just a part of the rich program. The guests can imagine the town as it used to be in the Middle Ages with its old crafts, costumes and more and more interesting details are added every year.

Position of island Rab

The island of Rab was protected by the gods who placed it in the lee of the Velebit range and in the shelter of Mt Kamenjak. This mountain, which might well arouse misgivings with its bare face turned towards the main highway and the Velebit Channel is in fact a real blessing for the island, for it protects it from the icy blasts of the north-easterly or bura, and has a generally beneficial effect on the climatic conditions. Rab is an island of sunshine, and this is no more phrase, for according to statistics it has 2,417 hours of sunshine a year. The sun shines on the island in June, July and August ten hours a day.

Rab is the southernmost of the islands in the bay of Kvarner, with a mostly Mediterranean vegetation. When you have left the bare, somewhat savage looking ferry harbour of Mišnjak, the island begins to be seen in a completely different light. The vegetation is luxuriant, and, because of the Mediterranean climate, as well as with the indigenous holm or holly oak, Rab is covered with evergreen forests.

About 9,000 inhabitants live in this marvellous part of the Adriatic, and at the height of the summer this number triples, for of the 20,000 accommodation units available, there are 16,000 beds in private accommodation alone, in single, double and triple rooms of all categories, as well as in suites and well equipped flats. Everywhere on the island is open to visitors, so that Rab is as a whole devoted to holiday-making.

About Us

Our house is located on a hill, opposite the old town of Rab, distanced just 10 minutes walk. Every apartment provides a beautiful view at the old town.
It is also very near the harbor, the sea and the most attractive bathing resorts – and one of them is a very popular one, town’s beach called Skver, just 15 minutes walk. There is a taxi boat that will take you to the Frkanj peninsula.