History & Culture
The first, and still rare traces of humans in Bled, date back to the Stone Age. In the Iron Age, when the mining of iron began in the Alpine regions, settlement increased.
Bled was later well populated by the Slavs, who arrived in two waves (in 7th and 9th century). Artefacts indicate the historical development of Bled up to the 10th century and some of these can be seen on exhibition at the Castle museum.
After the fall of the Old Slavic state, Bled with its surrounding area fell under Frankisch (Charlemagne 782) and later under German rule. In 1004 the emperor Henrik II divided the lands between the two Sava rivers, and in 1011 awarded Bled Castle, to Bishop Albuin of Brixen - a photocopy of the original title deed can be found in the collection at the castle. This action was a major turning point in the history of Bled. The keepers of the castle were bonded knights, who upheld feudal authority in the name of the bishops.
From 1809 to 1813, it was included in Napoleon's Empire as part of the Illyrian provinces, then it came once again into the hands of the Austrian Emperor who returned Bled to the bishops of Brixen for the last time in 1838.
The Bled castle
The Bled Castle offers the finest view of the Bled island, the town of Bled and of the wider countryside of the Gorenjska region. Experience the picturesque architecture of the castle and the museum collection, representing the historical development of Bled, its culture and its population.
The history of the castle reaches back to 1004 when the German Emperor Henry II gave his estate at Bled to Bishop Albuin of Brixen. At that time, only a Romanesque tower protected by walls stood in the place of the present day castle. The first castle was built in approximately 1011 but the Bishops of Brixen never resided there. This is precisely why the castle has no luxurious halls as the greater emphasis was placed on the defence system.
In the late Middle Ages more towers were built and the fortifications system was improved. Can you imagine entering through the outer walls with the Gothic arch and walking over the drawbridge above the moat? Today, the moat is filled with earth, but the sight is still able to stir up your imagination.
The distinctive feature of the castle is its double structure – the fortified centre part was intended for the residence of feudal lords, whilst the outer part with walls and buildings was intended for the residence of servants. In 1511 the castle was heavily damaged by the earthquake. Later on, the castle was restored and given its present appearance. The castle buildings are decorated with coats-of-arms painted in the fresco technique or carved in stone.
Get familiar with the traditional manual technological procedures of printing in the castle printing shop, order a small bottle of wine and seal it with sealing wax in the castle cellar, and allow yourself to be healthy, feel better and delight yourself with natural products from the herbal gallery.
Recover your strength in the castle restaurant and then visit the multivision. In summer months, the castle atmosphere is enlivened by the visit of a count and an archery tournament.
Admire the architecture, enjoy the tranquillity or listen to the sound of choral singing in the church on the island, the church of St. Martin in Bled or other churches.
Every wish can come true. Ring the wishing bell on the island and believe. Visit the neo-Gothic church of St. Martin constructed by some of the greatest names of the Slovenian art and architecture or visit other churches, which are all different, all marvellous.
Monuments silently witness the greatness of people whose images they carry. Stop for a while at the monument and take a bow to the memory of those who contributed to the present appearance and reputation of Bled. Among them we can mention the mathematician Josip Plemelj, poet France Prešeren and the beginner of the spa tourism Arnold Rikli.
Source: Turizem Bled