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 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 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. It was to become the foundation of a new city and state – San Marino – in which the remains of the saint are still kept. The small case with the relies St. Christophorus, the patron saint of the island of Rab. (the legend of st. marin).
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.Image 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.