In Montenegro, near Tivat there is so-called "holy Archipelago", consisting of 3 objects: Peninsula Miholska Prevlaka (Peninsula of Flowers), Island of St. Mark and the island of Gospa od Milo (Our Lady of Mercy). All three islands are covered with numerous legends, and they were a cult place of pilgrimage once:
What is hidden behind this wall?
There is a nunnery with the same name with living monastic cells, the Church of Our Lady, the bell tower, and various household outbuildings, a courtyard with a gallery, concrete walkways and beautiful garden on the island.
It would seem, that the smallest of the islands, ranked to the so-called Tivat "holy Archipelago" has nothing to surprise. However, cultural, historical and religious significance Gospa od Milo is very difficult to overestimate. Island Gospa od Milo is a unique "holy corner", that captivates amazing nature and mystery, the answer to which is to be found in numerous stories and legends ...
The history of the island.
The island has quite rich and interesting history. In 1479 it was laid by the hermit monks, who were attracted by the magic of the Island. They also built Célestins monastery and a large church in honor of Our Lady of Mercy. At that time the local master carved a wooden statue of "Saint Mary of Mercy", after which the island got its name.
From 1524, it was under the possession of Order of Friars Minor. After that, in the XVII century (1620), the island was sacked by Turks and the monastery and church were burnt as well. With the help of the faithful monks who lived in the district it was gradually restored.
Until 1800 the Franciscans had not left the island, but in the end it was passed to the bishop of Kotor. Catholic priests settled on the island, they guarded the temple and managed the parishes of Krtole and Krasici on the opposite bank. With time, the church and especially the monastery came in strong decline, while in 1900 on the order of the bishop of Kotor a full restoration of the island and all the buildings that are on it behan.
After the Second World War, the island was nationalized by the state and passed over to the Red Cross, which opened a holiday house for children on the island. After the Red Cross leave, the building on the island were gradually destroyed, and once the church was even broken into and ransacked.
In 1967, on the Catholic Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary the monastery and the island were returned to the Kotor Diocese. And the care of it was entrusted to the Croatian Jesuit fathers, who with great love and care made restoration. The works were completed in early 1973 by the restoration of the bell tower and the installation of stained glass of a talented artist Marianne Gayshak.
In the morning of Easter in 1979, the strongest earthquake in Montenegro occurred, which destroyed almost all the buildings of suffering island again.
Today the island and most of the objects on it have been restored and this complex is one of the main tourist attractions of Tivat and all Montenegro.
What to see on the way to the island?
Island Gospa od Milo is located close to several places of interest that would be nice to visit along the way.
Thus, in the program of excursions is often included not only the island of St Mark's, immersed in the green of cypress and olive trees, but also the Lustica peninsula, walking through which resembles a fascinating journey among the evergreen Mediterranean plants and wild flowering pomegranates, olive groves, ancient pines and oaks, wild grape shrubs and figs.
When else you will have an opportunity to "be transferred" to the days of ancient Greece or Rome, celebrated in myths? And whether to miss or not such a great opportunity, being very close, everyone decides for themselves...
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