OUR LADY OF THE ROCKS
OUR LADY OF THE ROCKS
Welcome to the Bay of Boka and Montenegro, which has less than twenty islands, and they are all uninhabited. Nevertheless, most of them have some object built long ago. Now, it's time to tell you something about one of them, a fabulous place.
THE TWO FISHERMEN
Our Lady of the Rocks is a tiny islet off the coast of Perast, a real gem of this part of the Adriatic. Built (yes, BUILT) by locals long ago, it's been a silent witness of many historical events over several centuries. From the nearby fairytale town of Perast, it takes you about five minutes to get there by boat. Maybe a little more if you swim 😊 The man-made island is, as we said, relatively small – only about 3000m2. Less than a football pitch! But why did local people start building it in 1452? Boredom? No. The answer is simple: it's faith. It's believed that two local fishermen, allegedly brothers, found a painting (icon) of the Holy Virgin and small Jesus Christ on a rock peeking above the water. For locals, it was a sign. God's sign! In addition to this, it has been said that one brother got miraculously cured of his serious illness.
BUILDING THE ISLAND
So, they started a painstaking job of building a church on the above-mentioned rock. However, there was a 'small' problem: the size of the rock. Not more than three or four people could cram on it. Skinny people, to be precise. It means that locals had to expand the rock! And guess what? It took them (well, not only them, but their descendants, too) almost two centuries to finish their daring, some would say crazy project! You may assume it's logical they named it after the painting found there long before. Here, the well-known stereotype about Montenegrins as people prone to lazing around falls apart!
Little before they finally finished the island, local people made their dream true: they erected one more beauty – Our Lady of the Rocks church. Even though Montenegro is primarily an eastern orthodox country, this church is a Roman Catholic one. Why is it so? How did Perastians manage to build an island where the sea is almost 30 meters deep? What can you see in the building adjacent to the church? (Believe us, there is something unbelievable!) What is the Reconciliation House? We wouldn't like to reveal everything; otherwise, your tour guide would feel useless. See you there!