The Church on the idyllic Bled Island in the midst of the Alpine lake has so enthralled Americans that its photo has become the cover for the gallery of the most beautiful churches in the world according to USA Today. Have you ever rung the 16th century wish bell that hides on the romantic island?
Among the 45 most charming churches in the world, Bled Island church is in the illustrious company of other sacral masterpieces, such as Saint Basil`s Cathedral in Moscow, Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, St. Peter`s Basilica in Vatican City and Sainte Chapelle Church in Paris. USA Today has written that faith all over the world inspired beauty and especially in the case of the Slovenian Feast of the Assumption Church.
Foreign visitors almost never leave out Bled during their visit to Slovenia. Bled church overcomes everyone also due to the fact that it`s not easily accessible. One can only reach it across the lake with a pletnja, a unique covered wooden boat. The only Slovenian island in the midst of an emerald lake was once the temple of the love goddess Živa. In the 8th century, during the Christianisation period, the old Slavic shrine was replaced by a church, devoted to Mary. In the 15th century, a Gothic church was constructed with more than a 50-meter high and free standing bell tower, while it obtained its baroque image in the mid 17th century. The interior of the church is decorated by frescos from the Gothic period depicting Mary`s life and the main altar with a rich golden carving. The 99 stone steps, which even now represent an effort for bridegrooms who carry their brides up the steps to the church, are also from the baroque period. At the top, each visitor is awarded with a magnificent view of the lake and one of the oldest castles in Slovenia, dramatically located on a 130-meter high cliff.
Did you know that Bled Island has another special story and a ‘wish bell’ that was cast in Padova? The legend says that a young widow, who lost her husband in a fight with bandits, used to live on Bled Castle. She cast the bell for the island chapel; however, during a storm the bell sank to the bottom of the lake during transport to the island. If you ring the wish bell and communicate your wish, the lady from the lake might fulfil it. During clear nights, you can still hear her sunken bell from the depths of the lake.
The gallery of the 45 most beautiful churches in the world according to USA Today can be seen here.