The church Gospa od Skrpjela (Our Lady if the Rock) is located at the same named island which is located in bay of Boka Kotorska across the beautiful small and peaceful town Perast. This church was raised in 1630 on an artificial island, which was built by fishermen from Perast. According to a legend these fishermen after the shipwreck found on a sea rock an icon of Holy Mother of God with Christ and vowed that right on that spot where the icon was found they will build a church, which will be dedicated to this icon of the Holy Mother of God, protector of sailors and fishermen.
In the interior of the church there is a great marble altar, which is a piece of work of Antonio Kapelano, sculptor from Genoa. On it you can see the icon of Gospa od Skrpjela which is a piece of work of the painter Lovro Dobric, one of the greatest masters of that age on the territory of the Balkans, and this icon dates from XV century.
Famous Kotor painter Tripo Kokolja, one of the most famous domestic baroque painters, painted the church and it was by order of the noblemen Andrija Zmajevic. The best paintings in this church are: Krunisanje Marijino (Crowning of Mary), Marijina smrt (Mary’s Death), and Uznesenje Bogorodice (Exaltation of the Holy Mother of God).
Between the paintings of this Kotor master there are silver plaques with relief displays of Boka ships, which according to a legend Gospa od Skrpjela protected and helped in troubles.
In the church you can also find an embroidery of a woman from Kotor, who has been making that embroidery from her own hair waiting for her sailor (husband) to come back, that embroidery was made for over 30 years and while she worked on it the women got blind and finally died without seeing her husband.
Our Lady of the Rocks (Serbian: Gospa od Škrpjela pronounced [????spa ?d ?k??pj?la]) is one of the two islets off the coast of Perast in Bay of Kotor, Montenegro (the other being Sveti ?or?e Island). It is an artificial island created by bulwark of rocks and by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks. The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rocks (Italian: Chiesa della Madonna dello Scarpello) is the largest building on the islet; it has a museum attached. There is also a small gift shop close to the church and a navigation light at the western end of the islet.
According to legend, the islet was made over the centuries by local seamen who kept an ancient oath after finding the icon of Madonna and Child on the rock in the sea on July 22, 1452. Upon returning from each successful voyage, they laid a rock in the Bay. Over time, the islet gradually emerged from the sea. The custom of throwing rocks into the sea is alive even nowadays. Every year on the sunset of July 22, an event called fašinada in the local dialect, when local residents take their boats and throw rocks into the sea, widening the surface of the island, takes place.
The first known church was built on the islet in 1452. It was taken over by Roman Catholics and in 1632 the present Church of Our Lady of the Rocks was built. It was upgraded in 1722. The church contains 68 paintings by Tripo Kokolja, a famous 17th-century baroque artist from Perast. His most important painting, ten meters long, is The Death of the Virgin. There are also paintings by Italian artists, and an icon (circa 1452) of Our Lady of the Rocks, by Lovro Dobri?evi? of Kotor. The church also houses a collection of silver votive tablets and a famous votive tapestry embroidered by Jacinta Kuni?-Mijovi? from Perast. It took her 25 years to finish it while waiting for her darling to come from a long journey, and eventually, she became blind. She used golden and silver fibres but what makes this tapestry so famous is the fact that she also embroidered her own hair in it.
42° 29′ 12″ N, 18° 41′ 20″ E
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