Bled, what fairy tales are made of…

Nominated as one of the seven new wonders of the world, Bled is no stranger to attention. Its picturesque setting and reputation for fairies and fables adds to the mystic charm and beauty of this stunning area. Read on and discover 5 fascinating facts about this storybook setting…

From Fairy Tale Origins

Local legend tells that many moons ago Lake Bled was a large valley of lush pastures. A favourite of the fairies that lived there, the fields were perfect for dancing and frolicking upon. Unfortunately, the local shepherds knew that their sheep would love them too. As they watched the sheep eat the grass and destroy their home, the fairies became angered. As a result, they flooded the valley. They left only Bled Island remaining and created what we now know as Bled Lake.

Unfortunately involving a lot less magic, the actual formation of the lake was quite different. In truth, the lake was actually made by the melting of the Bohinj glacier more than 15,000 years ago.

The Wishing Bell

Lake Bled is certainly not short of legends. Housed in the Church of the Assumption is a bell with a tragic past. The tale goes that a widow was overcome by grief after thieves killed her husband. She pooled all her money in order to have a bell forged in his memory. As it was being transported across Lake Bled, A storm overcame the ship and everyone aboard drowned, including the widow. Both the bell and the ship sank to the bottom of the lake. After her death, the Pope heard the heart-rending story of this woman. He blessed a new bell and sent it to the island. Today it is believed today that ringing the church bell will grant a wish to whoever rings it.

A Place of Worship

An important religious pilgrimage, the islands history as a place of worship did not begin with the Church of the Assumption. Archaeological findings have shown that prior to this, Bled Island was home to an ancient Slavic pagan temple. The temple was dedicated to the goddess of love and fertility, Ziva.

Bled Castle

Historic, picturesque and boasting stunning views– Bled Castle has it all! The castle dates back to 1004 CE when Henry II gave the estate to the Bishop of Brixon. However, much of what you see today was reconstructed in the 16th century after an earthquake severely damaged the castle. Furthermore, visit in the warmer months and you may be lucky enough to enjoy one of the cultural events held here. These events showcase what it was like to live in medieval times.

Pletna Boats

Visit Lake Bled and you will see the breathtaking waters dotted with historic wooden boats covered in colourful awnings. These pletnas can be traced back to the 16th century. Climb aboard for a relaxing ride across the lake– this activity is considered a must do in Bled. Also noteworthy, standing oarsman will use a technique passed from generation to generation to transport you to Bled Island.

For those seeking a fairy tale holiday, Lake Bled is the destination for you. As if straight from a storybook, this picturesque destination will be sure to capture your imagination– whether young, old, or somewhere in between!

Resources: Culture Trip, Beautiful World, Julie Gilley, Bled, Bledoscope