Sveti Stefan - The Montenegro Pearl PDF Print E-mail



At the foot of the Lovcen mountain ridge, in one of the most exotic encounters of land and sea, stands the island of Sveti Stefan. As legend has it, a fort was built on the island in 1442 when it was first settled. .The island was fortified by walls so families from the surrounding villages could find shelter from Turkish and pirate attacks. According to legend, the settlement was founded after a Pastrovic band bested the crew of a Turkish galley, and with the booty they seized a fort was built with one house for each of the twelve Pastrovic clans. On the terrace above the entrance to Sveti Stefan for decades the Pastrovic court meted out justice and resolved disputes, the spot known as the "place of justice".Sveti Stefan has three churches: the church of St. Stephen, after which the island was named, located on the highest point on the island, the church of Alexander Nevski, and the smallest one dedicated to the Transfiguration, at the very entrance to the town, joined by a narrow embankment with the mainland.Owing to its location, Sveti Stefan was a trading and communications centre for the whole Pastrovic clan. It possessed strategic and commercial significance at the time of the Venetian Republic when trade wa^ lively. The settlement slowly lost importance towards the end of the 19th century when the inhabitants, mostly fishermen, began to emigrate. During the Balkan wars only about thirty families still lived on the island. Complete re-settlement took place in 1955 when the island was totally renovated and converted into the world's most unusual "town-hotel". The streets, walls, roofs, facades retained their former appearance, while the interior of the houses acquired modern hotel amenities. Today it is an attractive combination of an ancient exterior and a sumptuous interior, intended for the upscale tourist trade.
For centuries on Sveti Stefan periods of turbulence and glory, brilliance and misery succeeded one another. Here tales of pride and patriotism were told, history blending harmoniously with the beautiful environs. In their long history Sveti Stefan, Milocer and Budva have been visited by many travellers, coming to admire the splendours of a small spot that has always proudly opened its doors, offering an experience of unprecedented beauty.
Many distinguished personalities and statesmen from all over the world have come here to enjoy its irresistible charms, including La Passionaria, several Soviet marshals: Timoshenko, Grechko, Kirilenko, Jabukovsky. There have also been writers of international renown: Malraux, Moravia, Soviet cosmonauts with Gagarin, the celebrated Greek composer Mikis Teodorakis, film stars: Sophia Loren, Monica Vitti, Marina Vladi, Kirk Douglas, Sergei Bondarchuk. Also entertained here were world chess champions: Robert Fischer and Boris Spasky and many others.
This magnificent region has always welcomed all travellers, known and unknown, who have come or will come to admire its rare beauty, giving generously to those who know how to appreciate its values, ever ennobling, awakening in | everyone a feeling for all that is eternal and indestructible.


Danilo Kalezic 

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