Noble Families of Perast – Casadas – According to tradition, Perast had twelve distinguished families. During the Middle Ages and afterwards, these “casadas”, patrician clans or brotherhoods, were called by the names of the original families. They were an integral part of the commune of Perast and their chiefs were elected as members of the town council every few years. The following casadas were active in Perast: 1) Studeni, 2) Dentali, 3) Vukasovic, 4) Brajkovic, 5) Sestokrilovic, 6) Bratica, 7) Stoisic, 8) Smilojevic, 9) Silopi, 10) Cizmaj, 11) Perojevic and 12) Miokovic. Each also had a flag bearer. This was in addition to serving as the bearers of the gonfalon of St. Mark.
VICKO MAZAROVIC (1613-1682): An eminent seaman, who was given the command of a newly built Venetian warship. He also distinguished himself as the head of the municipal administration. According to Krsto Mazarovic, the Town Hall, which is now in ruined state, was built by Vicko Mazarovic on the eastern side of the St. Nicholas’ church. There is also a mention of a Medical Station being opened in Perast (officially founded in 1734) for which Vicko placed a stone pillar on the St. Nicholas square, later kept in the Museum of Perast.
LUKA MAZAROVIC: Luka was born in 1618, as a second son. On May 15, 1654, he took part, alongside his father, in defending Perast from the Turks. He was one of 47 Perast men who stopped 5.000 Turkish soldiers, led by Mehmed Aga Rizvanagic and Beg Aksagic, by capturing the chief Turkish commander. Luka helped his godfather Kolovic behead Mehmed Aga, for which he was sent into exile.
Luka represented Perast during the visit of Duke Petar Zrinski who even stayed at the Mazarovic house.
KARLO MAZAROVIC: In 1789, Karlo Mazarovic from Perast flew in a balloon over Zagreb and other towns (according to the Almanac of the Maritime Museum of Kotor", pp. 104, no. 35-36/1987-88)
If we know that the first flight in a balloon was made on November 21, 1783 by the French physicist Piltar de Rosier Jean and Marquis D'Arland, in a balloon of the Mongolfier brothers, then the flight of Karlo Mazarovic could be considered as one of the first in Europe. Piltar de Rosier Jean is regarded as the first European air-navigator, while in our area this title belongs to Karlo Mazarovic.
VICKO BUJOVIC (1660 – 1709): During the Morea war (1685-1699), he took command over the powerful forces of Perast, he became a governor of the flotilla and, in his own name and that of the inhabitants of Perast, offered free services to the Venetian Republic, with which he was closely connected. The Venetians rewarded him amply, and Vicko needed money for luxurious life, to build a palace and maintain his own bodyguards. He took part in the attack on Trebinje in 1695 and fought against the pirates from the North Africa.
From 1694 to 1708, he was repeatedly elected a captain of the autonomous community of Perast. In 1694, the Bujovic palce, one of the most beautiful edifices in the Boka Kotorska, was finished. On March 28, 1704, he received the title of a duke for his merits. He provoked a quarrel with the Zmajevic family when he fled to Dubrovnik with a Turkish aga’s daughter who had been committed to the care of Krsto Zmajevic. He spent several years in Dubrovnik. On May 6, 1709, he was killed in a street fight by the Perast judge from the Stukanovic family. Because of his temper, Vicko was equally disliked by noble and common families of Perast. He was a greedy, spendthrift person, inclined to deceit and vice.
“On April 3, 1702, in Perast, Bartolo Moro, a special providur for Kotor and Albania, sent a letter to all consuls, representatives and friends of Serenissima, asking them to assist the commander of the tartana “San Gio-Batta Buon Pastore”, captain Vicko Bujovic, in his search for patron Marko Stukanovic’s tartana and polaka with valuable cargo, which were taken away from the said patron in the night between 23 and 24 March 1702.
Bujovic found the polaka with the cargo with only a part of its crew and handed them over to the Venetian authorities. On June 1, 1702, in Herceg Novi, Bartolo Moro sent a letter of thanks to Captain Vicko Bujovic for rendered services. Besides that, a special providur Badoer Federico praised the merits of captain Bujovic in rescuing the mentioned polaka and tartana.”
M. Milosevic, Contribution for the biography of Vicko Bujovic,
Almanac of the Maritime Museum in Kotor, 1955
ANDRIJA ZMAJEVIC (1624-1694): According to some data, Andrija Zmajevic was born in Perast on June 16, 1624, although it is not confirmed since August 1, 1628, was stated as the date of his baptism.
He received elementary education at the Franciscan monastery in Perast. On September 28, 1649, Andrija enrolled the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide. He completed studies of theology and philosophy in Rome and received a doctorate in theology and philosophy. In 1655, he became an abbot of the Benedictine monastery on the Island of St. George near Perast. During the time of Pope Alexander VII, he was appointed an apostolic vicar for Budva and the Holy See representative, and several years later, on February 23, 1671, pope Clement X appointed him Archbishop of Bar and primate of Serbia.
In his “Church Chronicle”, he presented his family’s history. According to some researches, the Zmajevics were of Orthodox Christianity when they settled in the Boka Kotorska from Njegusi, and only later, through marriages, became Roman Catholics.
In 1671, Andrija built a palace in Perast, today known as “Bishopric”, and seven years later, the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. Around 1690, next to the church, he began construction of an octagonal belfry. The belfry is supposed to have been designed by Andrija Zmajevic.
During Andrija Zmajevic’s time, some parts of the Boka Kotorska were under the Turkish rule and Andrija was known as a great patriot who supported and encouraged his people to endure in their struggle against the Turks. He was among the first to collect local folk poetry, poetry of Dubrovnik, “bugarstice”, etc. He himself was a fine poet and writer, and his best-known work is certainly “Church Chronicle” which records history from the beginning of the world to the author’s times. He advocated the use of vernacular language, and there are even some indications that the “Chronicle” was written in our language – in Cyrillic script - and then translated into Latin. Although never forgetting that he was a Roman Catholic, he was deeply aware of his Slavic roots, and wrote with praise about numerous personalities form the Serbian past, in a pure vernacular of the Boka Kotorska.
He died on September 7, 1694, in Perast, and was buried in the chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary.
KRSTO ZMAJEVIC (1640-1698): Krsto or Krile Zmajevic, brother of Andrija Zmajevic and father of Vicko and Matija, was born in Perast on May 3, 1640. He was a famous captain of Perast, very respectable man and skilled merchant, navigator and warrior.
In 1671, he was elected the town captain for the first time; he had military and administrative authority over the municipality of the Perast. He supervised the burning down of the pirate ships in Albania, and for completing this mission, he was awarded a gold necklace by the Venetian Senate. He was entrusted with the care of the Turkish commander’s daughter who later became the cause of the quarrel between the Zmajevic and Bujovic families.
In 1679, he was elected the town captain for the second time, in the period when the intensive preparations were done for the defense of Perast from the Turkish and pirates. At that time, Perast with its Fortress of St. Cross was the only protection for the hinterland.
VICKO ZMAJEVIC (1670-1745): He was a nephew of Andrija Zmajevic. He was born in Perast on December 23, 1670. He received a doctorate in philosophy and theology in 1685.
In 1695 (-1701), he became an abbot of the Abbey of St. George situated on the island of that name near Perast, as well as the parish priest of Perast. On April 18, 1701, pope Clement XI appointed him Archbishop of Bar. He was also entrusted with the duty of the Apostolic Nuncio for Arbania, Macedonia and Serbia. He was ordained as a bishop in the Church of St. Nicholas in Perast, by Marin Drago, a bishop of Kotor. The bishopric of Budva was also under his jurisdiction.
In 1702, he convened a people’s church assembly in Mrkinje, which was attended by the Perast Archbishop Zumi, Skoplje Archbishop Karagic, 4 Arbanian bishops, the prefect of the Albanian missions, Egidio Armentki, and the Macedonian prefect, Frano M. Licijski. In 1706, he retired to Perast where he lived in the family palace.
On May 22, 1713, he was transferred to the Zadar Archbishopric.
He built a parish church in a village near Zadar, repaired the roof on the Byzantine Church of St. Donate, and donated two altars and the floor in the chapel of Our Lady of Health.
He supported writers and collected folk poetry. He was exceptionally talented poet himself. As a boy, between 12 and 15 years of age, before the studies of theology, and probably under the influence of his uncle Andrija, he wrote sermons, of which particularly impressive are the Christmas Sermon in 1682 and 1683, and the sermons dedicated to Mary’s Assumption. In 1694, he published a collection of Latin poems “Musarum Chorus in Laudem Antoni Zeni”. He also wrote “Specchio della Verita” (The Mirror of the Truth) in 12 chapters. He made edeavours to publish the “Church Chronicle” proposing it to be published in our language in which it was apparently originally written.
He died on September 11, 1745, and was buried in Our Lady of the Castle in Zadar.
MATIJA ZMAJEVIC (1680-1735): One of the most famous members of the Zmajevic family, a nephew of the Bar Archbishop and primate of Serbia, Andrija Zmajevic, and a son of famous seaman Krsto (Krilo) Zmajevic, was born in Perast in 1680. He had four brothers and five sisters, one of whom, Marija, was the first wife of Vicko Bujovic.
He attended the Franciscan school and, supposedly, a nautical school of Captain Marko Martinovic. By the age of 18, Matija was already a ship commander. In 1702, he married Agneza Viskovic and the wedding ceremony was administered by Marin Drago, a bishop of Kotor, on the Island of Our Lady of the Rock.
He was involved in the murder of Vicko Bujovic and had to flee to Dubrovnik, and later to Constantinople, where he was imprisoned for some time. In 1712, he left for Russia, to St. Petersburg, where he, as a nautical expert, entered the service of Peter the Great. He served some time in Finland, and distinguished himself in battles against the Swedes and was appointed a rear admiral and even a vice admiral of the Russian Baltic fleet. On April 30, 1716, Peter the Great demanded from the Venetian Republic to abolish the sentence of banishment and confiscation of property that had been imposed on Matija Zmajevic. In 1725, together with another 17 distinguished men, Matija received a newly established Order of St. Alexander Nevski from the Empress Catherine, while in 1727 he became an admiral. In 1728, after the death of Peter the Great and Empress Catherine, Matija was groundlessly charged by crafty rivals and sentenced to death for alleged embezzlement of the state funds. However, by a supreme order, he was only degraded to the rank of a rear admiral and appointed Governor of the Astrakhan District in Russia, and then transferred for a Chief Commander of the Tavrov Port. He died on August 25, 1735, in Tavrov, and was buried in the Catholic Church in Moscow.
MARKO MARTINOVIC (1663 - 1716): He was born on July 15, 1663, and died in 1716. He was baptized by Andrija Zmajevic. He is one of the most important personalities in the history of Perast. He was a famous nautical expert, with a gift for mathematics, drawing, and shipbuilding. Although he only had primary and professional nautical education, he was so famous for his knowledge that the emperor Petar the Great entrusted education of Russian cadets to him. In 1700, in Perast, he opened the first nautical school of the Boka Kotorska. This school gained such a good reputation, that the Venetian Duke, at the request of Peter the Great, sent 16 Russian boyars to Perast to be instructed in navigation by Marko Martinovich, so that they could organize the Russian naval fleet on their return to Russia. He sailed to Russia, Mongolia, China, and Korea.
In Perast, between the Town Hall and the former Djurisic warehouse, there used to be a square dedicated to Marko Martinovic. At the site of the present-day Town Hall there used to be a cardak (watchtower) and a house/tower of the Martinovic family. The Martinovic family had a huge palace in Velja Street.
Marko was a contemporary and associate of Vicko Bujovic in various town bodies.
JULIJE BALOVIC: He was born on March 24, 1672, from father Matija Balovic, who had another six sons and two daughters. Julije himself had four sons, who had no descendents, so that this branch of the Balovic family became extinct. Julije was a municipal judge on two occasions.
He distinguished himself as the Captain of the Perast standard-bearers on the Venetian admiral’s ship, for which he received written public recognitions on several occasions.
He is famous for his literary and historical work, among which the Chronicle of Perast stands out. He started the Chronicle at the end of 1714, and it presents, in chronological order, the history of Perast from the earliest times. A part of the Chronicle is kept in the Archbishopric Archive in Perast, and its second part in the Scientific Library in Split. He was an ardent compiler of the folk poetry, and occupied an outstanding place among folk poetry compilers that were active before Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic.