Perast Things to Do Tips by karenincalifornia Top 5 Page for this destination
Perast Things to Do: 57 reviews and 80 photos
For about 150 years from the mid 1600's to the late 1700's, Perast became a boom town and was economically stronger than any other city on Boka Kotorska. During this time, beautiful palaces were built by wealthy seafaring families.
The busy seaport of Perast stagnated under Austrian rule beginning in 1797 and went into permanent decline. It never recovered and continued to suffer hardship during WWI, WWII, communism and now, difficult economic times.
Perast historically was a significant nautical center due to its stategic position on the Bay of Kotor. The first mention of a shipyard dates back to 1336. In 1600, this tiny town had 40 big vessels and over 100 smaller sailing boats. Today it is hard to imagine so much activity occurred in this quiet, tiny town.
Our Lady of the Rock, Perast, Montenegro
(Gospa od Skrpjela)
Our Lady of the Rock church was dedicated in 1630. As the story goes, it grew out of remorse for the murder of the Benedictine abbott in 1535. The church was built on a manmade island consisting of hulls of sunken ships and reinforced by boatloads of stones.
Inside the church are 68 paintings by a local artist, Tripo Kokolja, who lived during 1661-1713. At the back of the church is a small museum containing paintings of Perast's colorful history.
Every July 22, a local holiday renacts the scattering of stones with decorated boats, music and folk-singing.
Sv Djordje near Perast, Montenegro
(Also knowns as Sv. Djordje in Serbo-Croatian)
This monastery sits on one of the two islets in the Bay just off the shore of Perast, which fell under the city of Kotor's protection during the 14th to 16th centuries. Perast resented this control by Kotor. In 1535, a group of Perastians murdered the Kotor-appointed Benedectine abbott on this island.
Shortly after that, Perast managed to free itself from the dominion of Kotor. That resulted in the entire town of Perast being excommunicated from the Catholic church.
True independence was shortlived. Not too long after the 1535 incident, Perast fell under the control of Venice. Under Venetian influence, the city prospered to a position of importance it hadn't seen before and would never see again.
The monastery became the favorite burial site for sea captains, and today the crypts still remain.
Sv Djordje and Gospa od Skrpjela, Perast
Just kidding. I don't think this will take 3 hours. Nor do I think it will be a fateful trip. You shouldn't miss this if you are in Perast.
The centerpieces of Perast are actually located on two islets just off the shore. Out in the Bay are the Benedictine Monastery of St George, which balances on a natural reef and the church of Our Lade of the Rock, built on a manmade islet.
Getting to these monuments is very easy. Just walk along the promenade next to the water and you'll have numerous boat owners hawking rides out to the islets.
The climb up the 55 meter high belfry next to Church of St. Nikola isn't too difficult and it's well worth the view.
My son and husband are enjoying the view from the top.
Church of St. Nikola, Perast, Montenegro
The tallest campanile or belfry on the Bay of Kotor is located in Perast and stands next to the Church of St. Nikola. For 1 Eurodollar, you can climb to the top of this 55 meter high belfry.
It was here that we met the only other North Americans during our entire trip to Montenegro. They were Canadians and this was the first time in days we heard English spoken without an accent of any kind. (We don't speak it with an accent - but everyone else does, even you Southerners.)
Perast residents were forced to learn the fine art of defense. In 1624, marauding pirates from North Africa invaded and robbed Perast and took citizens into slavery. Thirty years later, the citizens defended the town from an offensive by the Turks in the Perast Battle of 1654. The good citizens of Perast then used their fighting skills to liberate the towns of Risan in 1684 and Herceg Novi in 1687 from the Turks.
The town of Perast is a delightful place to visit because of its charming nature and colorful history. The town dates back to Illyrian and Roman times. In fact, the name "Perast" is derived from the Illyrian Pirusta tribe. The town is mentioned in historical chronicles of times during the rule of the Illyrian Queen Teuta and Roman emperor Diocletian.
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