This place was little known by the tourists some years ago. Even today, few are those who travel to Montenegro and know about it. And I admit I considered for a few moments about keeping this place secret.
For me, Perast is one of those magic places that remain in your heart and you wish you could come back one day to see it again and again.
As you arrive in Perast, you will notice initially the 2 islands in the middle of the gulf, each one with its own church: Church Saint George and Church Gospa od Skrpjela (in translation „Our Lady on the rocks”). First island is made by God, second by human hands.
One of the legends says Gospa od Skrpjela appeared as a result of an old habit of the local fishermen. The one who returned safe from a journey at sea had to throw a rock in the gulf. Nowadays, on the 22nd of July, there is a festivity called „fasinada”, during which the locals take some rocks and throw them in the gulf near the island.
And still, what is so special about this place which seems to be just another lovely fishing village in the Gulf of Kotor? To answer this question, we need to take a look back in time so that we may realize where we are.
Perast belonged to Venice between 1420 and 1797. During this time, they built around 16 palaces and over 15 churches. Its glory days were in the 18th century when it had 4 naval shipyards, a fleet of about 100 ships and 1500 people lived in the city. Today, there are around 360 people in Perast.
The attachment for Venice was so strong that when the Republic fell to Napoleon at the 12th of May, 1797 Perast was the last city to lower the Venetian flag at the 22nd of August, 1797.
With so much history behind, you will feel different wandering the labyrinth of streets in a late summer afternoon, streets which sometimes stop in someone’s backyard.
And when the evening comes, the local fishermen appear on the shores, the lights are turned on slowly in the villages around the gulf and everything is magic.