Bled

The Church of the Mother of God on the Lake

27 Nov 2018
The most iconic feature of the most iconic attraction in the country, it is the image of the church on the island that attracts so many curious visitors to Bled and Slovenia every single year. Whilst the location of it alone is reason enough to visit, the church itself is full of history and legend. It started life as a small wooden chapel, before being expanded into a church and renovated on many occasions through the centuries. A most understated elegance underpins the interior, with the Stations of the Cross predominantly showcased. The golden baroque altar juxtaposes gracefully with the faded frescoes on either side of it.

It is the Wishing Bell that gets the most attention however, and the story of its coming to be is a curious mix of fact and fiction. A lady, who lived at Bled Castle, had the bell made from her jewellery after the violent death of her husband. However, as the bell was being rowed out to the island from the shore, a storm hit causing the boat and all its contents (both human and decorative) to sink to the bottom of the lake. She was devastated, so she moved to Rome and took up life in a convent. When she died, the Pope was so devastated that he ordered the building of another bell to be transported to Bled. Now, the story, we aren’t sure, but it is a fact that the bell that rings out from the island today was made in Rome. Purported to give luck to those who ring it, it is a must-do when on the island.

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