The story goes like this. There was once a stonemason called Marin from Lopar. He lived there back in the 4th century and he promoted Christianity. Back in those days, this (being a Christian) was not very popular. The Roman Empire, even though in its decline, hunted them down mercilessly. This is why he had to flee across the sea and settle in the cliffs of a high and hard to reach Titan hill, where he gathered like-minded people around him. And this is how San Marino was established. So the founder of the oldest country in Europe is a stonemason, Marin, born in Lopar, who would later on be proclaimed a saint. In the town of Rab, in a park within the town walls, you can see in the photo the monument that was erected in his honour. Relations with that small country are alive even today. Every year, a delegation of some seventy people from San Marino arrive here on the occasion of the Lopar Day, which is on the same day as the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Mala Gospa) (8 September). A great celebration is organised for the occasion, lamb is baked and ox on the spit prepared and there are numerous fish and seafood specialities on offer as well. Five-a-side football and a bowling tournament, tug of war and other interesting events are also organised. Of course, there is plenty of live music and the whole thing does not end until late in the morning the next day. The Nights of Lopar, events designed to familiarise tourists with the way people used to live and work, which include folk dresses and old songs, are also famous. Fishermen's feasts and various folklore performances are often put together for tourists, too.



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