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Bled Island, dramatically located in the middle of Lake Bled in Slovenia, is a tiny yet enchanting destination that’s home to historical landmarks and pristine natural beauty. Dominated by the Church of the Assumption of Mary, the tree-covered island is a serene and unique locale attracting visitors from across the globe.

History

While the island’s formation story mostly belongs to geology, its man-made structures hold a rich and long history. As earliest as the 9th-century Slavic tribes worshipped Živa, the goddess of love and life on the island. The church, which is now the centerpiece of the island, was built in the 17th century over several earlier church ruins, the oldest dating back to the 9th century.

How to Get There

The island is accessed only by water. Traditional wooden boats known as ‘pletna’ boats, rowed by skilled locals, are a popular means of transportation and take around 20 minutes departing from several locations around the lake. Alternatively, visitors can rent a rowboat and paddle their way to the island.

List of Attractions

  1. The Church of Assumption of Maria: This baroque church, with its celebrated wishing bell, is the main attraction and a popular spot for weddings.
  2. The Bell Tower: From its top, you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings.
  3. The South Staircase: This monumental staircase of 99 steps which lead up to the church is a must-see and is part of the traditional wedding ritual.
  4. The Provost’s House: Houses a modest but interesting exhibition on the island’s history.

Ticket Information

Access to the island is via a pletna boat ride, which costs around 18 Euros for a round trip, with children half price. Access to the church and the bell tower costs an additional 12 Euros for adults.

List of Tips for Visiting

  1. Timings: It’s best to visit the island in the morning or late afternoon when it’s less crowded.
  2. Dress Accordingly: If you’re visiting the church, remember to dress respectfully.
  3. Check Weather: Be sure to check the weather forecast before your visit, as the island could be less enjoyable on rainy or overly hot days.
  4. Joyful Moment: Don’t forget to ring the wishing bell in the church.
  5. Photography: Capture enchanting views of the lake, castle, and surrounding Julian Alps from the island.

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