The island of Rab Croatia is part of archipelago which is located in the Kvarner Bay of Adriatic Sea in the northern part of Croatia. Beside the little town with the same name as the Island there are seven other idyllic places which are situated in different corners of the island; Barbat, Banjol, Palit, Kampor, Mundanije, Supetarska Draga and Lopar. The island of Rab, situated in Kvarner Bay at latitude 44° north, belongs to the northern group of the Adriatic islands. It is sheltered from the cold by Velebit, a mainland mountain belonging to the Dinara massif, which ensures that the influx of fresh and clean continental air reaches Rab at pleasant Mediterranean temperature. The average annual temperature varies between 7 °C in winter and 26 °C in summer, remaining above 18 °C for more than 140 days a year.
Summer months are rendered more pleasant by a mild landward breeze, maestral, while winters are chilly and dry owing to the seaward northeastern wind bora. The shores of the island are lapped by crystal-clear and clean sea brought by the constant northbound stream coming from the ecologically clean Mediterranean. The average temperature of the sea around the island is 24 °C in summer and 12 °C in winter.
Rab | On entry into the old city of Rab you'll be met by the white stone of the sunlit Square of St Christopher. There is a fountain in the square embellished with two sculptures of Kalifront and the shepherdess Draga, figures from a legend of chastity and unhappy love.
The city is a typically medieval urban centre surrounded by walls that are in large part still standing. The old city is dominated by four bell towers mainly in the Romanesque style.
Earlier, Rab was a Roman settlement, which was given the status of city by Octavius Augustus, who proclaimed it a municipium in the year 10 B.C.
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 Lopar. 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 todays 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. Persecuted because of his prorogation of Christianity, Marin fled to the hardly accessible hill Titan and built a small church there. It was to become the foundation of a new city and state San Marino in which the remains of the saint are still kept.
Barbat The first place to greet you after incredibly denuded Misnjak is Barbat.
And in addition, the proximity of the sea, the many gravel beaches and the safety of the Barbat Channel enclosed by the elongated Dolin Island, attract many visitors, especially wind-surfers and sailors. Since it is attractive to sailors too, you'll also find a ship's chandlers and a modern well-equipped boatyard for the repair of motor-boats with a crane of up to 30 tons capacity and a dry-dock for boats of up to 120 tons. Lovers of the antique will be delighted by the remains of the Early Christian church and the Greek fort on the St. Damian hill.
Part of Banjol is scattered over the hills above the road, and the other part, below the road, dips to the sea in four bays, or Padova. Banjol, like all the other towns and villages on the island. The individuality of Banjol lies in its Padovas, or sheltered bays, which teem with swimmers during the day, and at night with little boats coming back from their fishing.
Kampor is located in the north-west of the island. With its two large bays St. Euphemia and the bay of Kampor as well as many smaller ones on the Kalifront peninsula. At the bottom of the St. Euphemia bay a franciscan monastery is situated. It has a museum, a gallery with the paintings by Testen, a library with valuable old chronicles. Its influence on this part of the island has been present for centuries.
The furthest off place in the island (14 km distant from the town of Rab) has kept in its way of life and in its speech the firmest links with the past. Lopar is very variegated and picturesque. Alongside its rich and fertile valley, it has the long sandy Rajska beach. The sand, warm shallow water, and thick woods that offer shade and cool are especially attractive to those who come with small children. The Sahara, Ciganka and Stolac beaches are open to naturists. There is a sports and recreation centre in the vicinity. Links with other places on the island are good, and apart from that, there is a summer ferry link with the island of Krk and the city of Senj on the mainland. As well as having its sea, sand and fertile farming land, Lopar is rich in forest; the north eastern part, facing onto Goli Otok (Bare Island) and Grgura Island is a remarkable picture with its vertical olive green slopes plunging down into the sea.
The Lopar people are proud of their ancient inhabitant, the sculptor Marin, who founded the city state of San Marino on the mountain of Titano.
Palit is partly located alongside the Bay of St. Eufemija, which is closed in by the Frkanj peninsula. Wooded Frkanj is a draw for tourists with its somewhat wild nature and bays. Kalifront continues naturally on from Frkanj; this is a peninsula on which there is a forest of indigenous Holm oak called Dundo protected by a conservation order. On the western side of the island there is a bay after bay edged with dark pines.
The fertile valley houses Supetarska Draga as well as Mundanije. Gornja and Donja (Upper and Lower) Draga have spread round the Draga Bay. The people of the Dragas have also combined modern and traditional ways of living, and this is easily sensed in tourist industry. Draga is also interesting to people who come in boats; they are not limited to mooring off the shore, but can stay briefly by one of the neighbouring islets, Maman, Srednjak or Sailovac. Islets are attractive with their clean and protected sand beaches and bays, and rich undersea life around them is discovered to the sport fishermans.
The Draga Bay is protected, it is shallow and calm, and here many birds nest and over-winter. Once upon the time there were salt pans here, and in the Draga valley the Romanesque basilica of St. Peter was built in the eleventh century. Its beauty attracts the faithful and lovers of art alike
Church of Sv. Marije
One of Rab's most important monuments is the 12th century Church of Sv. Marija (St. Mary). The church, formerly the cathedral of Rab and now the parish church, was built in Romanesque style as an aisled basilica with three apses.
The simple architecture of the interior is very attractive, and so is the walnut choir (1445), the work of Dalmatian masters, in the late Gothic style with some Renaissance features. Also remarkable are the characteristic ciborium, the chapels of the Holy Cross, the Holy Sacrament and St. Peter, and some valuable paintings.
When we leave Varo and enter the main, Ivo Lola Ribar Street, we shall come across one of the most beautiful medieval constructions in Rab - the Dominis-Nimira Palace. It was built in the 15th century in the Renaissance style with some Venetian Gothic features. Its most outstanding parts are the windows, laid out asymmetrically but beautifully worked, and the doorway with the escutcheon of the Dominis family. Marcus Antonius de Dominis (Markantun Dominis), well-known writer of ecclesiastical treatises and physicist, was born here in 1560.
The Duke's Palace is another of Rab's most outstanding monuments. This is, in fact, a complex of several palaces built in different times, dominated by the high rectangular tower, with beautiful Venetian Gothic and Renaissance windows. The construction of the palace started as early as the 13th century, but its most characteristic parts date from the 15th and 16th centuries.
Several magnificent pine groves were developed on the island thanks to the efforts of the late Pravdoje Belia, forestry superintendent; among these, particular mention should be made of the forests on the peninsula of Frkanj and in the town park of Komrèar. About 80 years ago the area of Komrcar was an ordinary pasture. Today, this is one of the most beautiful parks on the Adriatic coast, where Italian and Austrian pines, cypresses, ash-trees, holmoaks, junipers, evergreen bushes, hoary agaves and prickly pears compete for the attention of numerous strollers - locals and tourists alike.
In order to express their appreciation and gratitude the people of Rab erected a modest monument to their former forestry superintendent by the entrance into the park of Komrèar