In Boka-Kotor bay, near a cultural sightseeing Perast
town, there is the only of its kind of the Eastern Adriatica artificial island Gospa od Škrpjela with the Church of XVIII century erected on a small reef. The name of the island translated from Serbian as "Our Lady of the Rocks" and reflects its history. In 1452 two brothers, who were local seamen from Perast found an icon of the Holy Mother on the reef. Presumably the icon appeared there after shipwreck, but after the icon created a miracle it became insignificant. After the icon was found, one of the brothers recovered from illness he had been suffering for a long time. Since local people have known about miracle healing, they started respect and worship the icon.
Plateau with area 3030 m2 and the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks 11m high had been constructed for more than 200 years. It started with sinking old and seized ships, then pirate ones. Than the law was taken, according to which every ship passing by should drop a stone to the bottom.
Since then annual festival is held, during which all men should reach the island on brightly decorated boats and deliver stones there. This festival is called "Fašinada" and it has practical, rather than entertainment, purpose. It is held to avoid the damage of the island. Any volunteer can participate. By the way, the closing part of the fest is sailing regatta. The Church was finally built in 1630. It is considered the Church helps the sailors during dangerous voyages. Unfortunately, after a strong earthquake happend in 1667, the Church was reconstructed and in 1722 it was finally completed in Byzantine style. Tripo Kokolja took part in the interior design. The most famous his work is 10 meters fresco "Mary’s Death".
There are many works of art brought by sailors. Besides a famous icon of Our Lady, there are more than 2500 thousand of plates made of gold and silver. They contain dates of sailors' departure and arrival. Some plates contain just one date, it means that some sailors never came back. So a woman has been waiting for his husband-sailor the whole life. At the same time she was embroidering an icon out of her hair, so even grey hair was visible there. Her husband has never returned. Now the icon is kept in the Church on the island. It considered that the icon brings luck to the married couples, therefore wedding ceremonies are held in this church. Also many tourists and pilgrims all over the world come to the church.Lifehack: There is a sea taxi to Gospa od Škrpjela island. You can ask the schedule on the pier of your town.