St George island is one of two small islands located in the Boka Bay. The closest settlement to the island is a small fishermen’s town called Perast. The island was used as a cemetery for residents of Perast, and that is why the island was also known by the name the island of the dead. It is said that it was also called the “cursed island” since the Roman Pope officially cursed it because of a terrible crime that occurred on the island. Christians were afraid to step on it because they were afraid that the anathema of the Pope would get them. A legend says that the island had been white for centuries until the Benedictines came and planted cypresses – the symbols of death and transience of life.
The archive records of the church and priory of Sv. Đorđe “Sanctus Georgius de Gulfo” date back to 1166 when Ivan, abbot of Sv. Jurje, attended consecration of the new second Romanesque church of Sv. Tripun in Kotor. However, according to the findings of the ornaments on the church, it is assumed that the Benedictines have lived in the church since the 9th century.
The only trace of humans on the island is a Benedictine monastery from the 12th century, and most of the island is occupied by a cemetery where countless people from the town Perast and other towns in the Boka area are buried. Empty of human life and living sound, this island has the gloomy name – the island of the dead.
Its name derives from Saint George, the patron saint of Kotor, in ancient times; the isle was a lot closer to Risan and the coast. After a great cataclysm struck this region in the 6th century, and when part of the coast was forever lost at sea due to the earthquake, the island has become more reclusive and lonely
Today The island with live cypresses, church, priory, ramparts, loopholes and watchtowers, was and still is the inspiration of painters and the subject of oral traditions and legends.
St George island can only be reached by boat and there are a number of tourist boats taking visitors to this phenomenal islet.
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