The Legend of the Three Sisters (Tre sorelle)
The legend of the three sisters (Italian: Tre sorelle) from Kotor is one of the most famous stories from the Bay of Kotor. It is the story of three sisters’ unhappy love for the same sailor.
This legend has been told for centuries, and it originated from Prčnje, a place near Kotor. It is an integral part of the Tre Sorella palace, built along the seashore in the 15th century, where you can still see three windows, two of which were bricked up.
Well, this is how this legend reads! The three sisters, Fiomena, Gracijana, and Rina (sometimes referred to as Nera, Bianka, and Roza), were widely known for their beauty, honesty, and integrity.
All three fell in love with the same young captain, Jerko Novanjanin, a sailor from Herzegovina. Unfortunately for them, this sailor couldn’t decide which of the sisters he liked best. That’s why he decided to set sail on a long voyage to think things through, and when he returns, he will take a sister, who will still be waiting for him, as his wife.
The sisters waited patiently, each at their window, for every ship and sailboat that sailed into Boka, hoping that Jerko would arrive on one of them. Time passed, and the sisters grew old, so they agreed that when one of them died, the other two would wall up her window. That way, when Jerko returns, he will know which sister is still waiting for him.
When the eldest sister died, the other two bricked up her window because there was no one to look through it anymore. Then, the second sister also died without meeting her sailor, and the third sister bricked up her window as well. When she died too, there was no one left who could wall up her window, so it remained open.
At the beginning of this century, the then-owner opened one window (on the right side) and tried to turn the palace into a restaurant, but that did not happen, and in the meantime, the Legend of the Three Sisters was protected as an intangible cultural asset of Montenegro.