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Perched on an islet in the stunning Lake Bled, the Church of the Assumption of Maria is an iconic symbol of Slovenia and represents one of the most idyllically situated religious sites in the world. With its quaint beauty, rich history, and the serenity of the surroundings, this church is a must-visit spot in any Slovenian travel itinerary.

History

The church’s history stretches back over a thousand years. Although much of the current structure was built in the 17th century, mentions of a religious site in this location date back to the 9th century, and parts of the structure include 15th-century Gothic elements. Visiting the church and ringing its famed wishing bell has been a tradition for centuries.

How to Get There

To reach the church from Bled, one must first take a traditional wooden boat known as a ‘pletna’ across the lake to the island. These boats leave from multiple locations around the lake and the ride takes about 15 minutes and cost 18 euros roundtrip. Once you land on the island, you will need to ascend the monumental staircase of 99 steps that leads up to the church.

List of Attractions

  1. The Church itself: This baroque-style church is adorned with amazing frescoes and a golden altar.
  2. The Wishing Bell: Ring the bell located in the church’s belfry and, according to local tradition, your wish might come true.
  3. The Organ: The church has a small organ dating from the 18th century.
  4. The Panoramic View: From the top of the staircase, one can enjoy a stunning view of Lake Bled, the castle, and the surrounding Alps.

Ticket Information

There is an admission fee for the church, the museums and the bell tower. The price is 12 euros per person.

List of Tips for Visiting

  1. Timing is Key: Visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon can help avoid the busiest times.
  2. Stay Comfortable: Wear comfortable shoes; you have to climb 99 steps to reach the church.
  3. Have Cash Ready: Remember to bring cash as card payments are not always accepted on the island.
  4. Respect Traditions: Remember the dress code and be respectful when visiting the church and ringing the bell.
  5. Capture the Moment: Don’t forget your camera. You won’t find many views as photogenic as Lake Bled and its church.

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