Island Gospa od Milosrda

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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:

  • The Sveti Marko Island is known for its amazing beaches (the total duration of which is about 4 km), where the beach season lasts for six months.
  • Miholska Prevlaka Peninsula or Island of Flowers ( "floral" Peninsula), as it is connected to the coast by a narrow isthmus - a strip of land, hiding under water during high tide. Why "floral"? Because it is the birthplace of all kinds of trees, 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, like most flowering gardens. However, many flowering "umbrellas" (rich flora still please the eye of vacationist today) very well cope with protection from the burning sun for tourists eager to visit the beautiful island beach.
  • The smallest island of archipelago is the island Gospa od Milo (which means "Our Lady of Mercy") stands in the middle of Tivat Bay and is three hundred meters to the west of the island of Saint Mark, and about six hundred meters from the peninsula Lustica. Otok Island is the second name of this island, occupies a tiny space on the water, with width not exceeding 80 m and in length -.147 meters and is fenced off from the outside by wall with height of 1.5 meters. It was constructed by hermit monks in the XV century.

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 ...

  • For example, scientists have not been able to prove the presence of life here for about 5 thousand years ago, but it is known that the island Our Lady of Mercy has been a place of great religious ceremonies of different nationalities for thousands of years. For example, carved stone altars are found here, dedicated to the wife of Jupiter -a beautiful Juno Lucina, that were left behind by the ancient Romans, greeting their gods here.
  • There is also a legend about three women: Juno, Mary and Dana, two goddesses - the guardian of the motherhood and God-fearing woman, having built a church for all the suffering. The island remains under their protection.
  • In addition, they say, that the resettlement of the Slavs and their conversion to Christianity is characterized by another significant finding. In 1955, a square stone of a certain small church was found in the undergrowth of the island. The inscription in Latin says that St. Stephen's Church was founded in the beginning of IX century by Dana and her husband Yurok. We can assume that the couple had no children, since they built a church on the site of the millennial pilgrimage, and entrusted their hopes and prayers to St. Stephen

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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