There were a number of places that people had based themselves on the waterfront roadside to have a swim. There are no beaches within the town but people appeared to use some quay sides as sun terraces and diving boards.
When we arrived the heat was heavy with no wind. Within an hour or so the breeze whipped up a cooling element. This is typical of Perast in the summer months apparently, the cooling Mistral breeze starts up early afternoon, it was around 1pm when we noticed it starting up.
Only the church and museum to look around. It is only a very small island. There was a small shop offering drinks and ice cream for sale which was good for us to take in whilst we waited for the taxi boat home. Taking time to look around this small island you can see that it is shaped like a boat.
A warning, after we got back to the mainland we noticed a couple of tour boats docking, each with around 50 or so people to disembark. This was about 3pm, so my tip, get there before the crowds. From the picture you can see the Church of our lady on the right, that natural St George's island on the left and a taxi boat taking a trip.
There were about 4 different boats offering a taxi service to the island. The fare was €5 per person, they only charged for adults on the one we caught outside the main square in front of the dominant St Nicholas church. This is the man made island built from scuppered boats and rocks started in the 15th Century.
There are two islands but one of them is a cemetery and not open to the public. The taxi boat takes regular visits to the island. They suggested a half hour stay which would have been fine although we elected to stay for an hour or so, the tour took about 30 minutes in the end.
The best tip I can give is for you to pay the entrance fee to go into the museum. This entitles you to a free guided tour. The guide simply announced that he would accompany us if we would like and give a full guide. Fantastic info and personlised tour. The guide was so good I attempted to get a pic of him but only succeeded in this waving hand, he moved so quickly.
St Nicholas' Church dominates the central town square. Approaching from either direction along the waterfront you will see a town square. At the back of this square is the church of St Nicholas, a Catholic Church with a 55m bell tower. The entrance fee for the tower was €1 and the views from the top were very good. You can get a sense of the whole town from here. The church itself was open and was a welcome respite from the heat.
Probably the highlight of a visit of Perast is a boat trip to the artifical island Our Lady of the Rock with the chapel of the same name.
The Our Lady of the Rock Chapel (Gospa od Skrpjela) was constructed after the earthquake in 1667, although an even earlier chapel existed here.
The chapel can be visited free of charge. It is also home to a small museum which we didn't visit due to a lack of time. Instead of that, we enjoyed the magnificient views of Perast and the Bay of Kotor from here.
There are two small islands situated just south of Perast, but only the artifical island Our Lady of the Rock can be visited. Please read my transportation tips for details about how to get to the island by boat.
The St. Antony’s Church and nearby monastery (Samostan i Crkva Sv Antuna) was completed in 1679. It was built in Baroque style and the project was financed by the local Mazarovic family.
The church was used by the Franciscan order who came to Perast from the Venetian province in the middle of the 17th century.
In the early years the monastery was also home to a pharamcy and a library.
The St. Antony’s Church is situated in the upper part of Perast, just below the main through road Magistralni put.
The Renaissance style Bujovic Palace (Palata Bujovic) was designed by the Venetian architect Giovanni Battista Fontana at the end of the 17th century. Allegedly it was constructed from stones of the destroyed city walls of Herceg Novi.
The palace can be recognised by its arcaded porch and a balustraded terrace, which is topped by two lion sculptures.
Nowadays the Bujovic Palace is home to the city museum of Perast.
The Bujovic Palace can be found right at the waterfront (Stari put) near the western end of Perast.
The present St. Nicolas Church (Crkva Sv Nikole) was built in 1616 from stones from the Croatian island of Korcula.
The adjoining belfry is with 55 m in height the tallest church tower in the Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska). It was completed in 1691 and its clock was brought here from Venice.
Unfortuntaly, we didn't have enough time to climb the tower, which is said to offer panoramic views of the surrounding coastline.
The St. Nicholas Church stands at the main square (Trg Sv Nikole), right in the heart of Perast.
Perast has a tradition of seamen - warriors' families.
A visit at the local museum will bring you closer to the history and culture of the place.
The museum itself is located at a beautiful, well-preserved old house by the bay with a marvellous view to the sea.
One on the left is St. Djordje island and the other one is Gospa od Skrpjela.
Second one was men made island. People brought rocks in boats and throw the rocks there to make an island. The story says they even sinked arround 17 boats, they won in battle, down there ( water is 12- 20 m deep) It took them more than 200 years to make an island , and a lot more to build the little church for the Lady of the Rocks there. Present church is 3 rd one on that place.
For more information about this island folow the link below to see my GOSPA OD SKRPJELA PAGE ON VT.
Within a few minutes from setting out to explore Perast on our first morning there, a local boatman approached us and offered to take us across to Gospa ad Skrpjela (Our Lady of the Rock) Island, a short distance from the shore, for a small sum. We accepted his offer, and after arriving there, were given a guided tour of the church and its museum by an English-speaking guide.
The island on which it is built is artificial, having been created over a period of 200 years during which the hulls of scuttled ships and numerous boatloads of stone were deposited to create it. The original part of the church was completed in the middle of the 15th century, and it contains numerous paintings by a local artist. It also has a a fascinating museum at the rear full of all sorts of interesting relics related to maritime and local life.
The adjacent island, on which the Monastery of St George is situated, and which we didn't visit, is natural.
We climbed the narrow winding stairs to the top of the belfry, from which these two photos were taken. It is the tallest belfry in The Boka Kotorska, but the church itself was never completed, and only the apse stands alongside the belfry.
Sveti Đorđe (Saint Georges) is the other island in front of Perast. It is a natural island. Behind the wall is the Saint Georges Benedict monastery from the 12th century and the old graveyard for the old nobility from Perast and further from the whole Bay of Kotor.
On top of the entrance of Kuċe Baloviċ (Balovic Palace) stands a coat of arm. As photos are downgraded for VT, it should be difficult to read it. This is why I have made two enlargements. They show that the coat of arm bears a tree topped by a bird. If the tree had been an apple tree, apples should be represented. It might then be a tree with small fruits, such as an olive tree. The bird might be a dove, but I feel it is more looking like a sea-gull. It should be the coat of arm of the Balovic family.
Higher on the front of the palace, a bas-relief represents on the right a saint (bishop ?) leaning on his knees with his chair behind, in front of what looks like a small chapel. In the center of the bas-relief, lilies are arranged in a vase. On the left, an angel is unwinding a long roll of paper.
Oh no, no, I don't mean toilet paper, angels don't need toilet paper, do they ? Anyway, when you need toilet paper, you generally don't hold it IN FRONT of you, do you ? Unless it is for a commercial but I feel it is NOT for a commercial.
This bas-relief has certainly something to do with the history of the Balovic family but I have found no clue. It is topped by a writing : ISO CS7. I know ISO 9000 and some other standards from the International Organization for Standardization but I know nothing about ISO CS. I have found that ISO/CS was for ISO Central Secretary but it is very unlikely that, though the glorious past of Perast, it has ever been located in Balovic Palace. Anybody has a clue ?
I took the photo of this house, not knowing what it was as I felt it was a beautiful one but I was unable to find any information to identify it. At home, I enlarged the second photo and found that on the left, there was a marble sign written in Cyrillic fonts. I deciphered it and it said :
U oboj kuċi odmarao se ljeti
kao gost porodidže balobiċa
Postab ljeno 1951
In this house rested
As a guest of the Balobic family
While searching for more on the Balobiċ family, I found an excellent web site on another prominent family of Perast, the Mazaroviċ (sorry, in Serbian only, with a one page summary in English). Thanks to Jelena (VT Aurorae) that translated the sentence that interested me and which says :
Nikola Mazaroviċ, who lived in the second half of 18th century, was a collector of folk poems (or songs, the word is the same). His rewriting of one play, a form of drama piece, was saved from one copy from the house of Baloviċ family, from 1782.
On my next visit, I will look for the Mazaroviċ palaces !