Bled Island

The Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary

Bled IslandAbove the Bled Lake is the only real island in Slovenia. There is still some Ice Age limestone remaining under the trees covering the moraine. The island probably had a special meaning in prehistoric times and our famous poet Prešeren made poems about it. The way to come to the island is by a sort of a roof-topped boat called pletna. This type of boat with a single rower is known only in Bled.

At the peak of the island is an old medieval church with a separate bell tower on a Baroque roof with some secondary buildings. The provost’s office was built in the 17 century and the vicarage a century later. The Baroque-style staircase with 99 steps on the southern part of the island is particularly famous. The sanctuary and its presbytery and Gothic arches were consecrated in 1465. The church frescoes detail the life of Vrigin Mary: the story of Joachim and Anne on the north wall, Mary’s visitation and scenes of her later life on the south wall. The experts are convinced that the images were created under the influence of Bolfgang’s school in 1470. The main Baroque altar was carved in 1474. The other three (the altars of St. Sebastian, St. Magdalene and St.Michael) originate from the workshop of Mihael Cuss, dating from 1699. The images on those altars were painted by the artists of the Venetian school.

In the vestibule is a small lapidary, where even the original relief with Bishop Bled IslandHren’s Cross from Ljubljana is preserved. In the flooring we see glass openings with archaeological displays designed by architect Tone Bitenc and his co-workers in the 1950s. Another interesting sight for visitors is the ‘wishing bell’ that has been tolling since 1534. The staircase leading to the church was renovated in 2004 to mark the one thousandth anniversary of Bled.

The church is open for visitors all year round.


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