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Bled castle coudn't be more ideally located, perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking Lake Bled. It is Slovenia's oldest castle, being first recorded in 1011 when the German emperor Henrik II granted the castle to the Bishops of Bixen.
The castle is divided into two distinct areas with an upper residential courtyard houseing the Gothic Chapel and a lower area housing the castle outbuildings.
The castle is surrounded by high Romanesque walls and battlements and a Gothic defensive tower.
The view from the castle out over the lake is reprted as being spectacular but I can't comment on this as unfortunately having just made the steep climb up to the castle a heavy snow storm blew down from the Julian Alps and led to very poor visibility from the castle walls :(
I did get nice views of the castle the following morning which made up for the dissapointment.
Opening times: January - April/November - December 8.00 - 17.00
May - October 8.00 - 20.00
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Church of the Assumption
The church on Bled Island draws tourists from all over the world. The baroque church was built during the 17th century. However the historical significance of the island stretches much further back. Prehistoric remains of a settlement have been discovered on the island dating from between the 11th and 8th centuries B.C.!!!
The temple of an ancient Slavic goddess Ziva supposedly stood on the island. During the middle ages the island was the location of a Slavic settlement and graves have been discovered dating from the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. In the 12th century a stone built Ramanesque church was built on the island. In the 15th century the church was rebuilt in the gothic style and a bell tower was added. The church was damaged by an eartquake in 1509 and had to be rebuilt, this time in the Baroque style.
After another earthquake the church was renovted in the 17th century and took on its present day Baroque appearance.
The most famous feature of the church is the 'lucky' bell which hangs from a beam above the church nave. Visitors to the church can ring the bell which supposedly brings luck to the ringer.
The island and church can be reached by a rented boat or a traditional manned Pletna Boat.
(12 euro return)
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Bled has the unique distinction of having Slovenia's only island. The island is situated on Lake Bled. The island has formed during the Ice Age when a glacial lake was formed with a limestone lump left protruding through the water.
The island on Lake Bled would be overlooked as a tourist attraction and would only be considered important by geologists and geographers except for the presence of the Church of the Assumption. The small church is situated on the tiny island and draws tourists from all over the world to the Lake.
To reach the lake you can rent a boat or else take a manned Pletna Boat across to the island.
The Parish Church in Bled
It dates from 20th cenury but built on the site where another church existed much earlier. The plans for it were made by the architect of the Vienna City Hall-Friedrich von Schmidt . You can't miss it as its white colour is very striking in the green surroundings.
Skiinng at winter
I visited Bled in summer so I didn't try it. However the Straza hill looks promising especially for the biginners. For those more expirianced there is a lot on offer in Bled vicinity.
There are also a well known crosscountry trails in Pokljuka some 20 km from Bled.
Or the summer "trail sledging" as I would describe it. It can be don on the hill named Straza. Get to the top by the ski lift and slide back down . I didn't try it but my husband did and he told me it was fun. The price is 6 euros for an adult and 4 Euros for kids.
Rent a boat
You can rent a boat or a kayak and explore the lake yourself. It is also the way to visit the Island as an alternative to Pletna boat. As I walked around I saw a few places where you can ret it. The rental can also be arranged with your Hotel.
The lake has a publick beach caled Lido. It is situated right under the Castle. If the water is too cold you can soak up some sun and enjoy the views and a drink as some restaurants can be found there.
Just to mention that the water is very clean. Lido has a Blue Flag.
Or have a beautiful walk
This was my favorite way around the lake. It can be done in obout an hour ( 6 km ) if you do it without rest. It took me 2 and a half hours as I was resting a few times. One stop was prety long as I had a coffee and a cake at Vila Bled's terrace. It has one of the most beautiful views of the lake and its island.
or a little train
Another comfortable but less romantic way around the lake. There are a several stops on which you can catch it. All of them are clearly marked and have a schedule writen on the board. It runs every day from 10.00 to 18.00 in the 45 minutes interval. When the weather is bad it doesn't run.
Take a horse-drawn carriage around the lake
This is very nice and the most romantic way to see around the lake. The carriage can also take you up to the Castle, the golf course or nearby villages. I liked the horses very much. It seems that they are very well cared of.
The tour around the lake will cost you 12 euros per person ( minimum 3 persons).
The Island Church
This Church was rebuilding several times. In todays apearrance it was built in 17th c. with a few tings (the frescoes in the presbytery and a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary)remaining from the 15th c.
The bells can be heard all the time as the visitors ring them wanting their wishes to come true. The bell dates from 16th c. and is known as wishing bell.
Visit the Bled Island. The easiest way to do it is by traditional boat "Pletna" . The round trip is about 10 euros. The boat will wait for you about half an hour. It is enough time to visit a Church and even have a drink in the cafe.
The views from the Castle
The views from the Castle are stunning. I spent more than an hour looking down to the Bled town and its surroundings. It is the best way to soak the beauty of this place.
There are the restaurant and a coffeehouse where you can rest for a while.
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Side trip to Lake Bohinj/Slavica Falls
About 20 km west of Bled you'll find another lake that receives far fewer visitors, Lake Bohinj, which is larger than Lake Bled. The guidebook said it takes about 4 1/2 hours to walk around it as opposed to 2 hours for Lake Bled, we didn't have the time to do it but enjoyed the view of it as we drove by on our way to Slavica Falls.
Lake Bohinj is fed by the water from Slavica Falls which is just a short distance further west from Lake Bohinj. It takes about 20 minutes to hike up to the falls from the car park, definitely worth the effort. 2.50E to park and another 2E per person to visit the waterfalls.
Highly recommended, friendly host, excellent (optional) dinners at the hotel, for example four...more
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I did not stay here, though kept passing it, and seeing it all the time! High visibility, that's...more
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