Bled, Slovenia – Aerial drone view of beautiful Lake Bled (Blejsko Jezero) with the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria and Bled Castle and Julian Alps at backgroud on a bright summer day.

By ZGPhotography

One of the oldest most beautiful churches and settings in the world of all time. I find churches extremely interesting, even more so the “church” is actually the people, not a building. The building however is the dwelling place of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many Christians believe God is everywhere, but He actually lives inside of everyone who lives a Christian life. Generally in the western world, we think of one of the 33,000 different churches in America and give little thought to when, how, or where these old churches were started. This Catholic Church is very popular with tourists and for weddings. Could you ever imagine such a beautiful place to visit or plan your wedding?

Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary (Bled Island Church) Tours.. While the romantic position of the lovely Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary (Bled Island Church) on a minuscule mound in the middle of Lake Bled is enough to attract thousands of visitors to it each year – it is one of Slovenia’s most popular wedding venues – it is also feted thanks to its internal ornamentation, 177‐foot (54‐meter) tower and dedication to the Virgin Mary.

Starting out as a pagan temple many years before the advent of Christianity, the church has at various times been a small, wooden structure and a single‐aisle Gothic church, which was consecrated by the Bishop of Ljubljana in 1465. The freestanding bell tower appeared later in the same century and the church was reconstructed yet again in 1685 in its present Baroque style, with a deliciously OTT gilt‐encrusted altar and black marble and wood‐carved pulpits contrasting keenly with its serene white and cream aisles.

Two legends surround the church: that men must carry their partners up the 99 steps of the 15th‐century stone staircase leading up to its entrance to ensure marital happiness; and that ringing the wishing bell – which dates from 1534 – on the left of the altar makes wishes come true.

Practical Info Admission adults €6, under 18s €1. Opening hours Apr & Oct 9am–6pm; May–Sept 9am–7pm; Nov–Mar 9am–4pm. Pletna boats make the journey over to Bled Island and are available for hire from three locations on the lakeshore: at Mlino on the south side of Lake Bled; at the rowing center on the northern shores; and close to the tourist office at the eastern end of the lake. Return fares are €12 per person. Address:Bled Island, Bled, Upper Carniola 4260, Slovenia Hours:Apr & Oct 9am–6pm; May–Sept 9am–7pm; Nov–Mar 9am–4pm Admission:Adults €6

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