Today, Rabac is a well-known tourist resort. By the middle of the 19th century, it was a small fishermen village with hardly ten houses. Due to the beautiful bay and splendid, tame surroundings, it soon attracted first visitors. In 1876, Richard Francis Burton, an English writer and a passionate traveler, was among the first tourists who stayed in Rabac. Having seen Rabac and other places on the Istrian coast, he wrote a book of the same title 'The Istrian coast', describing, among other things, the beauties and charm of Rabac.
At that time Rabac witnessed the building of the first villas. The most well-known was the villa belonging to the Prohaska family, Czechs by origin, who were distinguished tradesmen from Rijeka. Unfortunately, the villa was destroyed during the Second World War, but one of the most attractive locations in Rabac still bears the name of Prohaska.
'Quarnaro', the first hotel in Rabac, was opened on 11th June, 1889 in the house of the Viskovic family situated close to the present 'Orlando' atelier. The hotel had only a few rooms and a pub on the ground floor. Kaiser, the Austrian officer, who was a regular client of that first hotel, later bought Dubrova, an estate close to Labin. Today, Dubrova is hosting the Mediterranean Sculptors Symposium and is becoming ever more famous for its magnificent park of sculptures.
The chronicle writers would point out yet another curiosity - at the beginning of this century in 1907, Prince Ferdinand, the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne, visited Rabac and was saluted by people who had gathered in the harbor. The inhabitants of Rabac were skilled fishermen, seamen and owners of some ten sailboats which were either destroyed in the maelstrom of the Second World War or pushed back by modern ships. The first larger hotel was built in the period of the Italian government in 1925 in the very center of Rabac and was called 'Trieste' -its name today is 'Primorje'. The capacity of the hotel could not meet the ever growing demand of tourists, mainly from the northern parts of Italy. Hence the more intensive development of private accommodation took place. Ten years after 'Trieste', the 'Dopolavoro' hotel was built - presently the 'Jadran' restaurant.
Tourism in Istria, as well as in Rabac, began to develop during the sixties, when this small resort, due to its natural beauty , got the flattering name of 'The Pearl of the Kvarner Bay'. Since then, all existing hotels, apartments, camping sites and the majority of the private houses have been built.
Among the visitors, for years now, the most numerous have been Germans and Austrians followed by English and Italians. Rabac can accommodate in one day even 11.000 visitors, mainly foreign, and several thousand bathers from Labin and its surroundings.
Main town doors of St. Flor are dating from 1589 with Rabac coat of arms and the Serenissima lion above. Canon dating from Austrian times was put up for the second time on the bastion (torjon) in 1995.
Baroque palace of Battiala Lazzarini family
Today, this is a town museum. Counts Lazzarini, who had several properties in the Rabac area, left after World War Tw.
Three-nave church of Blessed Virgin Mary's Birth
It was built in 1336 on the foundations of the small church from the 11th century. It was reconstructed several times. The last reconstruction was in 1993. A Venetian lion with a sphere in his mouth - a symbol of Rabac recognizing the Venetian government - was put on the front facade in 1604. By the end of that century, in 1688, a baroque statue of senator Antonio Bollani, a combatant against Turks, was put on the same facade. The bust is one of the most beautiful examples of the secular sculptural art of Istria in the 17th century. On the right from the church, there is a palace which belonged to the Schampicchio family.
Church of the B. V.Mary's Birth
This church is decorated with six marble altars. One of them has St.Justin's relics brought here from Rome in 1664. Main altar and altarpiece with six figures of B.V.M., St.Pauline and Saints : Justin, Sergio, Julian, Tom and Jacob. The author is Natale Schiacione from Dalmatia, the much more valuable altarpiece by the altar of the Madonna of Carmel from the l7th century is believed to be done by the famous painter Jacopo Negriti, better known as Palma the Younger. Valentin Lukas, a young Rabac painter from the 19th century; is the author of the painting featuring the Stages of the Cross.