Perched atop a steep cliff rising 130 metres above the glacial Lake Bled is a symbol of Bled and Slovenia – Bled Castle. The image of the castle, forming a dramatic backdrop to the romantic island with the church on it, has earned worldwide recognition through centuries. The deed of donation in which Bled Castle is first mentioned as Castellum Veldes, dates back to the year 1011.
“In the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity. Henry, by favour of the Divine Mercy, King...” This is the beginning of the text of the deed of donation from 1011, when the German king, Henry II, donated Bled Castle – then called Castellum Veldesin – along with the surrounding land in the size of 30 king’s farms from the area between the two Sava Rivers, to Adelberon, the bishop of Brixen.
In terms of written documents, Bled Castle is the oldest castle in Slovenia. It will celebrate its anniversary during a major investment cycle and various events marking the millennium will be held throughout the year, beginning in May. The main ceremony will be held on Saturday and Sunday, 21 and 22 May 2011, with a Medieval performance of King Matjaž and Alenčica and a baroque performance of Poliksena and the Sunken Bell on the upper terrace of the Castle, along with a visit from Venetian gondolas and fireworks from the castle on the lake promenade. The first weekend in June will be another weekend of celebration, when the 5th annual Medieval Days of the Lord of the Manor will feature brave knights, beautiful maidens, and skilled craftspeople and merchants from Slovenia and abroad. Two weeks later, from 17 to 19 June, a mass castle wedding will be held at Bled Castle, at which numerous couples from Slovenia and the neighbouring countries will be married simultaneously.
With its green-blue lake, the little island with its church and the medieval castle on the crags above, Bled is the most famous view of Slovenia. The fame of Bled and its beauties was spread around the world by world travellers, including Janez Vajkard Valvasor and his Glory of the Duchy of Carniola of 1689. This tourist gem of international fame located at the edge of Triglav National Park was among the nominees for seven new wonders of the World!
Bled Castle is becoming one of the must see places for almost all visitors to Bled. Nearly one fourth of them come from Slovenia, followed by guests from Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Israel, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Spain, Germany and the USA. Over the past several years, Bled Castle has become a true experience – offering a breathtaking view, a visit to the Castle museum, Castle printing works, the Castle wine cellar and herbal gallery, while on the occasion of state visits, weddings and other opportunities, the Knight Gašper Lambergar Theatre Group takes its audiences into the Middle Ages by demonstrating medieval culture and entertainment.
For more information on the history and offer of Bled Castle, please view here.