Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Our Lady of the Rocks.

From the shores of Perast, you can make out two small islands in the center of the bay. The tree-covered space is home to a small monastery (there has been an abbey in this spot since at least 1166!) that is closed to the public, but the other one is easily reachable by boat.  Legend has it that this almost entirely man-made island was founded when sailors found an icon of Mary on a protruding sea rock, and seafarers began dropping stones and sinking ships in that spot to form a place to honor her. The small church that sits there now was built in the 1600s and contains relics left behind by grateful sailors and their families in thanks for safe voyages and miraculous interventions at sea: silver plaques, lanterns, embroidery, ship bells, coffee grinders, and the occasional parasol. Brides still leave a memento above the doorways when they marry there, and residents continue to boat out to drop a rock or two during a festival in July. It's a lovely place for a history lesson.










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