Perast and Its Holy Islands: St George Island and Our Lady of Rocks

Perast is a small historical town in Montenegro, located just across the entrance of Bay of Kotor. Once has been an important naval city under the rule of Venetian Empire between 15th – 18th centuries, now it has only around 300 inhabitants.

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Perast, as seen from the sea

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Perast Seaside

Perast is a picturesque coastal town, with its churches, palaces and defensive towers, leaning back to splendid slopes. Just a few hundred meters off Perast coast, there are two small islands. One of them is St George Island (Sveti Đorđe) on which stands a 12th century monastery and a graveyard.

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Holy islands off Perast

st george island

St George Island

The other island is called “Our Lady of Rocks” (Gospa od Škrpjela) and it is the only artificial island in the whole Adriatic Sea. The story is that, once upon a time, two Venetian sailors find an icon of Mother Mary floating on the sea, exactly on this spot. It becomes a religious tradition for the fishermen and seaman to throw a rock in the sea every time they sail. Over centuries, the thrown pile of rocks grow so large that an island starts to emerge. Later, a church is built on this artificial island. Today the island is a museum. Boats operate between the island and Perast to carry visitors to the island and back.

Our Lady of Rocks Island (Gospa od Škrpjela)

Our Lady of Rocks Island (Gospa od Škrpjela)

Our Lady of Rocks Island (Gospa od Škrpjela)

Donations room, inside the Church on Our Lady of Rocks Island

Our Lady of Rocks Island (Gospa od Škrpjela)

Venetian painting picturing a sea fight between Ottoman and Venetian warships, inside the Church on Our Lady of Rocks Island

View from Our Lady of Rocks Island

View from Our Lady of Rocks Island


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Gokhan Toka
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