Peninsula Prevlaka Miholska or Island of Flowers ("floral" island).
Miholska Prevlaka peninsula ("Prevlaka" in Montenegrin means isthmus) can be easily included into the list of sights of interest of Montenegro. Island of Flowers (Prevlaka) is located in the Bay of Tivat near Tivat Airport. Dimensions of the island is small - about 300 m long and 200 m wide. There is about 2 km from Tivat to the island, and you can get there by boat from the town pier or on the road by bus, car or taxi.
Officially, it is referred to as an island, but still is correct to call it a peninsula, since it is connected to the mainland by a small isthmus. Only during high tide this strip of land is slightly flooded and, accordingly, Miholska Prevlaka becomes similar to the island.
In addition, as you may have noticed, this island has two completely different names and each of them has its own interesting history of creation. 1. The name "Miholska Prevlaka"
was given to the island in honor of the ancient monastery of St. Archangel Michael, which was built in the VI century. At the moment, of the monastery complex, formerly occupied the whole island, only building with monastic cells and the small church are restored. Only three monks live in the monastery. 2.
Why is the "Island of Flowers"
? The thing is that the island is considered the birthplace of all kinds of palm trees, various flowers and plants growing on it in the old days. In addition, it was decorated with gorgeous olive grove, almost completely destroyed by refugees from Bosnia during the breakup of Yugoslavia and the military action. However, numerous and diverse flora and fauna, lush Mediterranean greenery, bright flowers still pleasing the eye of coming tourist. That is why the island became known as the "Island of Flowers".History of the Peninsula Prevlaka Miholska (Island of Flowers).
Archaeological excavations of the island began in 1996 and have been continuing to this day. Based on got results, as a mosaic, the story of the island Miholska Prevlaka is made up.
Stone axes, found on the island, suggest that the first settlements date back to the Bronze Age. Greek products of VI - V century BC from the archaeological excavations of the archipelago, belong to the trading period of the Illyrian tribes with Greece. In the III century BC, the coast is conquered by Romans, throughout the island, the remains of Roman buildings and mosaics, utensils, money, and others are found. And in the front part of the temple of the Holy Trinity is a Roman granite column.
It is also clear, that Christianity has been presenting on the Roman coast of Tivat from the outset. The story says, that apostle Paul with his disciples walked all along the coast from Trebinje (Albania) to Kistanje (Croatia). There is a strong possibility, that Apostle Paul preached the gospel here.
In the IV century during the Emperor Constantine rule, Christianity became the dominant religion, and on the site of Roman buildings of Prevlaka, temple was built, which was destroyed in the IV - V centuries. Remains of an ancient stone decoration of buildings, fragments of ceramic, a porous stone decorations marked with an early Christian symbol of the fish testify the ancient temple.
More recent discoveries and traces of the buildings belong to the VI century, perhaps there was a Benedictine monastery, which was destroyed by warlike Avars. In 1219
, after obtaining independence of the Serbian Church, its first archbishop St. Sava Nemanjic established in Prevlaka residence of metropolitans of Zeta principality.
To protect from hostile attacks, two fortified watchtowers were built. One of them was in the vicinity and blocked the only road to the island. In XVI - XVII centuries the towers were rebuilt in summer villas, and now only ruins overtop the desert plain (they can be seen on the way from the airport to the island). In 1420
, before the threat of invasion of the Ottoman Empire, Kotor came under the control of the Venetian Republic. Kotor nobility wanted to get the land of the Orthodox diocese, that prevented Zeta Metropolitan. The conflict worsened after the Council of Florence (1438 - 1445 years), the decisions of which were not accepted by the Orthodox churches, and resistance were called among the monastic circles. Prevlaka monastery became a major concern for the Catholic Venetian authorities.
In the future, the Archdiocese moved the residence in Cetinje, the island was abandoned and fell into disrepair. In 1827
, a childless widow, Countess Catherine Vlastelinovich, wishing to restore the sanctuary, bought one-third of Prevlaka. For three years she has updated her house and the house of servants, instead of the wild weeds and shrubs, she planted fruit trees, made the trails on the island and to the sea. Catherine did not have enough funds for the restoration of St. Archangel Michael Church, and she had a smaller church of Trinity built near. Single-nave church of the Holy Trinity was consecrated in 1833. Today, the relics of the martyrs of Prevlaka, and part of the relics of Righteous Fyodor Ushakov, who fought for the independence of Montenegro are kept in the temple. And the sacristy of the monastery contains shrines and monuments of successive ages.
In addition, the island of flowers famous for its sights, famous vacation spots and ancient structures.
One of them is a magnificent and clean beach on the Island of Flowers. The beach is surrounded by lush vegetation, saturating the air with amazing flavors. It’s quite pleasant to walk in the shade of the wood or find a secluded shady corner and hide from the midday heat and from other people ... The beach itself consists of a small sandy and rocky areas. The sea off the Island of Flowers is always calm, so water skiing is a favorite activity of tourists. Many local residents and tourists love to visit this beach and arrange picnics there.
The other point of interest, which is also worth a visit of the island is a Monastery of the Holy Archangel Michael, which was built in the VI century. Since the XIII century, during the heyday of Old Slavic state of Zeta, the residence of the Orthodox Metropolitan of the country was placed there. Bishop accommodated in the monastery of St. Archangel Michael till the middle of the XV century, until a tragic event on the island.
In 1441 the Venetians destroyed Orthodox monastery, justifying their actions allegedly by outbreak of plague epidemic. Later studies have shown, that they simply tried to hide their terrible crime - the murder of the monks, and be more precise, the poisoning of monks by arsenic during a festive meal, presenting it as "riot of black death" or plague.
Retold by Montenegrin writer Stjepan Mitrov Ljubisa (1824 - 1878), local legends tell of the ne'er-do-well son, a certain Drushko, who spent the money given by the dying mother for the production of two bells for the Prevlaka monastery. Rich backers promised him the title and the right to a quarter of the island property, if he would help them to get rid of the monks. Sly Drushko came to the monastery with repentance, where he was warmly received. During the patronal feast Drushko poisoned food, half an hour later when the monks began to fall under the table, he jumped up and started shouting: "Plague! Plague!". At this signal, towards the island, cannonballs flew from the Venetian ships moored nearby in the bay. Thus, under pretence of fighting with plague in the middle of the XV century, the cradle of Orthodoxy was destroyed. They say, that the church bell tower was so high that when it fell into the sea, the risen water swept coastal houses. Seventy monks were killed, and Drushko himself disappeared. At least, in Kotor, he no longer came, and his descendants were cursed, though they became owners of the deserted island.
There is not any historical evidence of this legend, although the land of the monastery went into possession of Drushko family and archaeological excavations confirmed the time of destruction of the monastery. In 1994 and later in 1996, the relics of the monks were found, that miraculously exhaled fragrance and streamed myrrh. God's miracle was confirmed by the Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and it can be watched by all the pilgrims coming.
Only 300 years later, in 1833, under the supervision of Countess Catherine Vlastelinovich, restoration works of Miholska Prevlaka and construction of Trinity Church were started, where today the relics of 70 martyrs of the Prevlaka (slain monks) are rested. Catherine selfless activity was not liked by the Austrian authorities. In 1845 the island was attacked by bandits looted the church valuables and beat 68-year-old woman. Eighteen months later, Catherine died in unclear circumstances. In 1987, during the exhumation of the remains, a lead grain of handgun was found in her stomach. Property of countess was inherited by Bishop Petar II Petrovic Njegos and Holy Trinity Church of Prevlaka. After the death of the Countess Catherine further construction and restoration of the monastery complex stalled.
A new attempt to restore the holy place has been made recently. So far from the monastery complex, formerly occupied the whole island, only a building with monastic cells and the small Church of the Trinity are restored. Between them there are the ruins of an ancient temple of Archangel Michael of VI century. Closer to the shore, you can see the excavations of the ancient monastery walls and towers. Only three monks live in the monastery now.
Stunning facilities with a history of Montenegro, at every turn, and island of Flowers is one more proof!