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The medieval city of Rab was built on a narrow peninsula between the bay of St. Fumija and the city harbor. The oldest part of the city, known as Kaldanac, is located on the southeastern part of the peninsula. This area was settled before the Roman period, and the city of Rab experienced rapid development during the reign of the first Roman emperor Augustus, when it gained the status of a Roman municipality - Felix Arba. In those days, the city had temples, squares, baths, waterworks, and theatres. During the 14th and the 15th centuries the city expanded to include the area of Varoš. During that time, city walls were built and the city presented an important military stronghold of the Venetian Republic. Part of the city walls remains until the present day. The square Municipium Arba divides these two main parts of the city which also have significantly different architectural styles.
 From Romans, Byzantines and Venetians, through Croatian and Austrian rulers, Rab frequently changed masters. Despite its turbulent and violent history the city was spared from significant destruction for which its citizens are especially grateful to St. Kristofor, the patron saint of the city.