The inhabitants of Rab have reintroduced knight games, established in Rab, back in the year 1364. Since the reintroduction, until 1995, the games have become the central cultural event of this milieu.
The day before, a herald, by proclamation and drums, announces the knights competition. The ceremony starts with the arrival of a Prince and his escort to the Municipal Loggia welcomed by cowbowers, ensigns and musicians.
Accompanied by a strong drum beating, by the sound of fanfares and bell ringing, participants, walking down the streets of the town, come to the Cathedral for the blessing. The games start on the St. Christopher’s Square in front of the City Gates, opened by the Prince of Rab. Accompanied by the sound of fanfares, the town’s flag has been hoisted on the mast, followed by the sign of “the Honourable Judge” when the knights start their competition.
The Prince of Rab declares the winner of the knights’ games and hands in the prize “Felix”. The games finish with the musicians’ and ensigns’ programme as well as with the solemn march-past of all participants, dressed in the Renaissance costumes.
The Rab knights used the antique cross-bow. Today, it is used, besides the knights’ games, by “balestrieri” from San Marino only.
Ages, the Rab people used it in order to defend their city from invaders, so they introduced the games in honour of this defence of their protector St. Christopher..
The Solemn March-Past is held on the 30th of May and on the 27th of July the knight games are held, but the solemn march-past in the town is organised on the Day of the Assumption of Mary. Each march-past lasts for three days, so if you find yourself around this time, on this beautiful island, don’t miss it.
The town of Rab is something special: having kept its marks from the past and mixed it with the modern ones in the best possible way. Even today, if we enter through the Golden Gate, we will be attracted by the Upper Street with its miraculous peace. At the right side, towards the way out to the Komrčar Park, you can find the belvedere on the old tower and the little church of St. Christopher – the protector of the city and the island, now the lapidarium, and to the left, there is a street with its churches and four bell towers.
From the monastery and the Church of St. John Evangelist, from the unique Romanesque basilica, only the Romanesque bell tower has remained. Just next to it, there is the Church of St. Holly Weeping Cross, where, according to the records of that time, a miracle happened i.e. the Cross started to weep.
On the Square of Liberty, you can find the bell tower and the Church of St. Justine, built for the Benedict Nun’s Convent in the XVI century, and now it has been used as the Museum of Sacral Arts. Not far away, you can find the Church and the Bell Tower of St. Andrija. The Church was built in Romanesque-three-naval-style with a beautiful baroque altar. The bell tower dates from the year 1181 and it is considered to be the oldest bell tower in Rab.
If you start walking towards Kampor, don’t forget to visit the Franciscan Monastery and the Church of St. Euphemia. In the monastery, you can find the precious museum and the gallery of fra Amroz Testen.
One of the most valuable Rab monuments is definitely the Prince’s Palace, situated on the Square of the Rab Municipium. The construction of the Palace started even in the XII century, but the most interesting parts date from the XV and XVI centuries.
The Square Municipium Lodge dates from the year 1509, constructed in the Renaissance style, with beautiful stone columns. Recently, it has been restored to be preserved from its decay.
You will also see a palace Dominis-Nimira, fancy palaces Nimira i lots of other cultural treasues that we leave you to find
Rab is famous for its vocal ensembles (klape) which, with their specific performance, represent something special. If you haven’t heard something like this so far, maybe it is about the time to listen to them. Maybe this is something just for you...
On the island of Rab there are four vocal ensembles (klape):
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