Bled

Bled Island

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Of the many aesthetic wonders of Lake Bled, it is Bled Island (Blejski Otok) that is without doubt the most iconic. It adorns the cover of this and pretty much every other guide dedicated to Bled, and a large chunk of guides for the entire country, and with good reason. It is the only true island in the entire country after all. It certainly isn’t huge, but the phrase ‘small but perfectly formed’ has never felt more apt. It is only accessible by boat, but we truly can’t think of any mode of transport we’d rather use to reach it.

The Church of the Mother of the God on the Lake (mouthy name, but rather poetic in Slovene) dominates the landscape, both visually and culturally. First mentioned in the 12th century, it has a history that stretches way before that and has undergone many renovations since. Thousands head to ring its Wishing Bell annually, which is purported to bring luck to those that ring it. USA Today included it in its list of the most beautiful churches in the world, for quite obvious reasons.

Elsewhere on the island we find a Bell Tower with a renewed Pendulum Clock at the top, not a spark of electricity in sight. There is also an exhibition house showcasing some of the finest Slovene art from past and present, as well as a fascinating permanent exhibition focused on traditional dress. Wrap up your visit by tasting Potica, a sort of nut roll made with all sorts of fillings, in the attractive café before returning to the shore.

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Essential Bled
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