“a strange medieval town, closer to reminiscence than reality..."

The English architect T. G. Jackson stated in 1887 that which many have said before and after him:

“a strange medieval town, closer to reminiscence than reality… to my tastes the most beautiful of Dalmatian towns”.

The old city of Rab dominates the island with its four church towers and medieval streets, so it is no wonder that Europeans named it “Little Venice”, with its preserved cultural and historic centre with numerous monuments.

The oldest information on Rab can be found in the writings of the several Greek and Roman geographers and writers (Ptolemej, Plinije st., Tabula Peutingeriana). In those writings Rab is mentioned as Arba, Arva, Arbia, Arbitana. The origin of that name can not be established with certainty, but it is supposed that translated from the Indo-European root of ARB it means umber, dark, forested which is also characteristic for the island today.

It is very likely that the name of Rab dates all the back to the 7 th century A.D ., just after the arrival of the first Slavs to the island, however the oldest known document with the Croatian name Rab is a Latin decree about the foundation of the St. Euphemia abbey, that is kept in it’s museum, and it dates to the 15 th century.

Middle Street offers a special tourist and cultural atmosphere with its street painters in summer, when the whole centre of the town turns into a huge gallery, and the Rab Cultural Events in the “Knezev dvor” Gallery represent another important event.

The Rab Musical Evenings, organized in the church of the Holy Cross (June to August), offer concerts performed by Croatian and international musicians.

The most attractive summer event in Rab is the Rab Tournament, which used to take place from as early as 1364, commemorating the defense of the town by the knights in the past.

A special attraction of this picturesque mediaeval ceremony is the ancient crossbow, which is used at the tournaments only by the “arbalests ” from San Marino. The tournament takes place a few times a year: May 9th, 25th of June, 27th of July and August 15th.

The most attractive summer event is a three day parade bringing Rab’s medieval history to life. For three days and three nights (July 22 nd till July 27 th) the entire island populace and all its guests celebrate two great holidays: Dies Victoraie and Dies Natalis. The two were declared by the Rab Great City Council in the honor of King Ljudevit The Great who saved Rab from Mletians and in the honor of St. Christopher whose efforts freed Rab or Norman governing in 1075.

You will experience some pleasant moments at numerous indoor and open-air music events and culture performances, as well as in various art galleries or street exhibitions.

For those in love with classical music – there is a three month classical music festival “Rapske glazbene večeri” (“Rab music evenings”) with at least one concert per week being held in attractive town locations and churches Crkva Sv. Križa and Crkva Sv. Marije Velike.

RAAF – Rab Film Festival
The Rab Film Festival presents three RAFF FRAME awards in the following categories: best documentary film, best fiction film and best film selected by the audience.

Rab jazz fest

Kantuni / Corners Romantic music nights around the old town Rab