Bled - Beautiful scenery
Trip Start Sep 05, 2011
19Trip End Sep 27, 2011
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Today we drove to Bled, Slovenia which is a town on Lake Bled. The town is very picturesque in and of itself but there are two main attractions here, first an island in the middle of the lake which has a church on it. Second, a Castle on on the edge of town. We went all the way around the Lake taking pictures of both the Castle and the Church. I could not go to either as their are 99 steps to the church and more to the Castle. But I did get some lovely photos as the water is very green, like Lake Louise, and the forest is lush as you will see from the pictures. After the walk, we went to a local restaurant and had a wonderful dish made of carrots and cottage cheese, each spread on a special dough and then rolled and sliced and boiled. Whatever spices they use, it was totally delicious, see the picture.
After driving back to the hotel, I rested for an hour then went back out and had a local delicacy which is a crepe spread with Nutella and other things. I chose a banana. It was very sweet and sticky and went well with the Coffee I was drinking. I then watched a boat with a band go down the river and drove around the area again taking more pictures of different things. It seems there is something interesting around every corner and each cafe has its own specialty. They certainly do drink a lot of coffee in this part of the world, perhaps more than we do, and it seems they really relax and enjoy it rather than racing through it in a paper cup from Starbucks or Tim Hortons. A busker was putting on a show in the Middle of the Square and when he got near the end I drove over and watched as he got out of chains and ropes that people in the audience had tied him in over the previous hour. He was quite amazing. I then returned to the hotel and went to the pool which is amazing in itself - two pools in fact, quite warm and lovely to have a lazy swim before going to bed. Check out the photos - click the slideshow line above my photos and then hit the little arrow at the bottom right of the first photo for a full screen show.
A settlement area since Mesolithic times, Bled was first mentioned as Ueldes (Veldes) within the March of Carniola on April 10, 1004, when it was awarded by Emperor Henry II toBishop Albuin I of Brixen. Bled Castle was first mentioned in a 22 May 1011 deed in which Henry II donated it to Albuin's successor, Bishop Adalberon of Brixen. With Carniola, Bled was ceded to Rudolph of Habsburg after he defeated King Ottokar II of Bohemia at theBattle on the Marchfeld in 1278. From 1364 until 1919, Bled (Veldes) was part of the Duchy of Carniola, except for a stint between 1809 and 1816 as one of the Napoleonic Illyrian ProvincesAfter the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in 1918, Bled came under the rule of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and became a summer domicile of the ruling House of Karađorđević, a tradition that President Josip Broz Tito continued, when he built his residence here in 1947. Bled became an independent municipality in 1996. In 2000, Bled became the home of IEDC-Bled School of Management.Bled Island.Bled is known for the glacial Lake Bled. Perched on a rock overlooking the lake is the iconic Bled Castle.
The lake is 2,120 m long and 1,380 m wide, with a maximum depth of 30.6 metres. The lake is situated in a picturesque environment, surrounded by mountains and forests. A medieval castle stands above the lake on the north shore. The lake surrounds Bled Island (Sln. Blejski otok), the only natural island in Slovenia. The island has several buildings, the main one being the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary (Slovenian: Cerkev Marijinega vnebovzetja), built in the 15th century, whereweddings are held regularly. The church has a 52-metre tower and there is a stairway with 99 steps leading up to the building.
The Triglav National Park (TNP) (Slovene: Triglavski narodni park) is a national park located in Slovenia and the only one in the country. It was named after the mount Triglav, the highest peak of the Julian Alps and a symbol of Slovenehood.Triglav is situated almost in the middle of the national park. From it the valleys spread out radially, supplying water to two large river systems having their sources in the Julian Alps: the Soča and the Sava, flowing to the Adriatic and Black Sea, respectively.
St. Mary of the Assumption Church
The single-nave Gothic church with its large free-standing belfry was built on the southern side in 1465, when Sigmund Lamberg, the first Bishop of Ljubljana consecrated the new presbytery and the main altar.
The free-standing belfry is a special feature, as it shows the typical influence of the Venetian school. The belfry is 52 m in height and is characterized by its Gothic arch above the entrance, which was built in the 14th to 15th centuries from stone known as buckwheat grain due to its numerous holes.
On the site of the Gothic church a Pre-Baroque church was built in the middle of the 17th century, and then reconstructed in 1685. The three side altars made of black marble are the work of the Ljubljana stonemasons M. Cusse and F. Ferrata. The images by an unknown master reflect the Venetian school of the 17th century. The fourth side altar, dedicated to St. Ana dates from the end of the 17th century, and the image within it is from the Layer workshop in Kranj. The Baroque main altar has richly gilded carvings and dates from the 1740’s. The altar sculptures represent the donors of the Bled lands, Emperor Henry II and his wife Kunigunda. The wooden reliefs on the altar table and the tabernacle are from the second half of the 19th century. The church was renovated in 1972.
Bled Castle (Slovene: Blejski grad, German: Burg Veldes) is a medieval castle built on a precipice above the city of Bled in Slovenia, overlooking Lake Bled. According to written sources, it is the oldest Slovenian castle and is nowadays one of the most visited tourist attractions in Slovenia. The castle was first mentioned in a 22 May 1011 deed of donation issued by Emperor Henry II in favour of the Bishops of Brixen. Then located in the March of Carniola, it passed to the Austrian House of Habsburg in 1278.