our lady of the rocks.

Last Wednesday I shared part of the day we spent in Montenegro on our cruise in November, but I saved our morning tour to Our Lady of the Rocks and Perast for today.

As you may remember our ship sailed past these two spots in the early morning hours on the way to our dock in Kotor.

Our Lady of the Rocks is that little island on the left and St. George island is on the right in the photo above, and here is Perast …

Shortly after our ship docked in Kotor, we disembarked and took a short walk to another dock to board the smaller boat that would take us to Our Lady of the Rocks.

As I mentioned last week, the water in the Bay of Kotor was as smooth as glass.  As we were heading out, this beautiful sailing ship was heading in.

I believe this ship offers some sort of day excursion but I couldn’t find any info about it online.

Although it was a little chilly on the water, the sun came out and the scenery was amazing.

Our Lady of the Rocks is situated on a man-made artificial island.  There is a legend that the islet was created over the centuries by local seamen who kept an ancient oath after finding an icon of the Madonna and Child on a rock in the sea on July 22, 1452. Upon returning from each successful voyage, they laid another rock in the Bay. Over time, the island gradually emerged from the sea. Apparently the custom of throwing rocks into the sea is still alive. Every year at sunset on July 22, the local residents take their boats out and throw rocks into the sea, widening the surface of the island.

Initially a tiny orthodox chapel was built on the island, but in the 1600’s the Venetians took over this region and they replaced it with a Catholic chapel in 1630.  However, the current church was built in 1722.

The church contains 68 works painted by Tripo Kokolja in the late 1600’s.  According to Wikipedia, the paintings on the ceiling were badly restored by Josip Rossi in 1883.  If you look closely, especially at some of the faces, I think you’ll agree.

There are more of Kokolja’s paintings all around the perimeter of the chapel.

Above the painting hangs a collection of over 2000 silver votive offerings.

These are thin sheets of silver embossed with a design, in this case mostly of ships, that were presented by sailors to give thanks for a safe journey at sea.

There is a natural island (not man made) near Our Lady of the Rocks called St. George island.  It contains an abandoned monastery, but it was also used as a cemetery thus giving it the nickname ‘the island of the dead’.

I bet that would be a creepy place to visit at night, but I think I would have enjoyed seeing it by daylight.  However, our tour did not stop there.

Instead we headed over to Perast.

We could have stayed with our group and toured the local museum, but we were ready to just wander around on our own.  Passageways that look like this just call out to be explored!

We climbed up to the higher points in Perast to check out the view.

Then we headed back downhill and walked the length of Perast’s waterfront.

Along the way we encountered a local who was giving free samples of some Montenegrin pomegranate wine,  and naturally after test tasting it we had to buy some.  We still haven’t popped the cork on that bottle, I’m saving it for a lovely summer evening when we can enjoy it on the deck while fondly reminiscing about our day in Montenegro!

18 thoughts on “our lady of the rocks.

  1. An island made from accumulated stones now there’s an interesting story. I’m definitely with you on leaving the group to explore on my own. But I cannot imagine traversing up amd down all those steps on a daily basis. These posts make me consider how vastly different our every day life is here in America.
    Look forward to your next installment.


    1. I think we’d probably be better off if we did have steps like those that we had to go up and down them on a regular basis. Of course, here in Minnesota we would be taking our lives in our hands in the winter. Can you imagine those steps covered with ice and snow?


    1. Yes, this was definitely a tranquil place, at least when we were there in November. I suspect it’s quite a bit different in the summer when it’s filled with tourists 🙂


  2. Such a beautiful, picturesque town. I’ll bet the stonemasons in town are kept busy! Love the stones in the water story and good to hear you supporting local vintners! Thanks for sharing.


  3. What a cool story! To be surrounded by such history… I would also have loved to explore the abandoned monastery! There is a show called “Abandoned” that does just that and it’s so fascinating! So fun to travel with you 🙂


  4. Another fun stop. It would have been fun to be able to explore that little island with the monastery on it. The wine sounds tasty. I’m ready for the summer nights on the deck already.


    1. Last night when I got home from work I had to laugh because there is easily 10″ of snow on top of the grill. Probably won’t be grilling out on the deck for a while yet 😉


  5. Well, these are beautiful pictures Miss Quandie! You actually captured SILENCE it seems to me……I enjoyed looking! It is amazing how quickly it’s Wednesday again……time is just flying by…….


  6. Your trip has been outstanding and the pictures took me there. I envy every minute. There are places I have never heard of. Did you plan all this or did you have a trip advisor? Keep doing these wonderful trips while you are young. We are so glad we did our travelling while we could. Love and thanks for sharing. Betty from snowy Ontario.


    1. Thanks so much for your comment Betty. I did pretty much plan research every port of call and plan what we would do there, but some of that was easy like this trip to Our Lady of the Rocks, which was a ship sponsored shore excursion.


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