Lopar

The village of Lopar with 1.100 inhabitants is situated on the nort of the island of Rab. The houses were built on hills and gentle slopes in smaller groups. Every group of houses has its own name using the surname of some of the families. Other villages on the island were built in a similar pattern. A fertile valley extends at the entrance to the village and the greatest number of hamlets were built in the northwest part of the island. The roads runs through the middle of the valley. One leg of this road leads to the hotel complex „San Marino“ and the camp-site „Rajska plaza“ and the other one to the ferry terminal and post office. A self-service shop i situated at the crossroads, and also a small buffet and a tourist information centre, and on the other side of the road the Lopar Elementary School and the church of St. John. The bell-tower of the church of Our Lady can be seen on a small elevation above the ferry terminal. The church of „Sancta Maria de Epario“ was mentioned in hte 14th Century, and a hermit called Dominik lived next to this small church at the bigining of the 15th Century.



The peninsula of Lopar has many smaller coves and sharp promontories. The two biggest ones are the cove of Lopar, with the ferry terminal and, opposite, the cove of Crnica with the spacious Rajska Plaza (Paradisiacal Beach). This shallow and spacious beach is 1,5 km long and full of layers of fine sand which attracts even the youngest swimmers and non –swimmers. One can wade more than a hundred metres at the depth of half a metre. The remnants of the former Greek military fortifications can be seen at Punta Zidine with small wooded coves around. According to legend, the stonemason Marin (Marinus) was born in the village of Lopar, and it was he that established the mini state of the Republic of San Marino on the Apennine Peninsula. He arrived in Ariminum (today's Rimini) in the middle of the 3rd Century in order to work as a stonemason on the fortifications. During the time of Diocletians's persecutions of the Christians he retreated into a cave on mount Monte Titano and lived a hermit's life. Other hermits followed his example and built a church and a monastery on this mount around which the small state of San Marino developed, and the mason Martin from Lopar was proclaimed a saint. Due to this legend friendly relation between the town of San Marino and the comunity of Rab were established. A special attraction in the tourist life of Rab and their meetings with the people of San Marino are folklore performances and competitions in archery.