Along the coast of Montenegro, where the Bay of Kotor and Risan Bay split, at the foot of the St Ilija hill lies tiny charming baroque town Perast - small in terms of area, yet huge when talking about its importance for our heritage and history. Its two little islets look like floating churches and are one of the main attractions in the whole Montenegrin coast.
Situated on one of the most beautiful and in the past strategically most important positions of the Bay of Kotor (opposite of the Verige strait - the narrowest part of the Bay where the shipping route for Kotor was most vulnerable), from their fortress, the islands of St George and the fortifications of the Our Lady of Angels citizens of Perast controlled and guarded Verige for centuries. Throughout the centuries, many empires battled for control of the city.
Perast has just one main street that runs along the shore. A bunch of small cafes and restaurants are located along the street from one side of the city and their terraces placed on the concrete docks right next to the sea. The traffic is restricted and that makes town a quiet place. First time you visit Perast make sure to take a walk from one end of the town to another. It takes around 15-20 minutes and along the way you can admire old baroque architecture and sense the life of the people who live here.
On such a small place 19 churches, 16 palaces and 9 defensive towers are located. Almost every church is built in XVII or XVIII century. The St. Nicholas (Sv. Nikola) church whose belfry proudly raises to 55 m represents the recognizable symbol of Perast. The most impressive palace is the Bujovic palace, which houses the city's museum today. The museum abounds with testimonies from the tumultuous history of Perast.
The main attraction of this little town are islands of St George (Sveti Djordje) and Our Lady of the Rocks (Gospa od Skrpjela). First island contains Saint George Benedictine monastery from the 12th century and the old graveyard. Unlike Our Lady of the Rocks, it is a natural island. Our Lady of the Rocks with a Roman catholic church is an artificial island created by bulwark of rocks and by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks.
The best time to visit Perast is during summer or in the beginning of autumn. Small stone docks are never overcrowded and to swim while being surrounded with this spectacular scenery is absolutely a unique experience.
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