Visiting Bled Castle – one of Slovenia’s most ICONIC landmarks
When in Slovenia, most visitors go to Lake Bled. They soon realize there is quite a few of the Lake Bled MUST do’s – from taking a walk around the stunning lake, paddling to the Bled Island, eating Bled ‘kremšnita‘, walking up to the Bled Castle and more. But all of these activities take time and it is very hard to squeeze them all into a day visit.
Why Bled Castle?
First of all, Bled Castle is the oldest castle in Slovenia, written sources first mention it in 1011. In a country where there are over 300 castles, seeing the oldest one is kind of a big-deal, we would say. Along with that, it is really well preserved. In its life cycle it has seen many changes of ownership, and has showed off various architectural styles.
Looking at the Lake Bled photo, you can’t miss to notice that Bled Castle also has a very dramatic location. Perched some 130m above the lake, the castle’s romantic appearance creates one of the most long-term memories of Slovenia. So it is really worth to see it from the inside, too.
The castle with a GRAND VIEW
You can either hike up to the medieval castle (which is what we did) or drive up by car (there is a car park outside). Once up there, it is hard not to feel joy by seeing what you are seeing …
The dream-like views of Lake Bled, the distant hills and mountains symbolizing Slovenia, the little town below, the silence of the clouds above – the views from the castle are really as good as you’ll ever see!
Attractions & Highlights
Aside from the bewildering views, the castle also has a number of attractions. Among them a small museum showing the history of Bled from the beginning of time to the present day, an old printing press, a castle forge, a wine cellar, souvenir shop and a restaurant (closed at the moment due to the covid-19 restrictions).
On the upper ground there is a small Gothic chapel, which we found the most charming place to visit. Besides seeing some well preserved frescoes, the finesse of the amber light and shadows playing inside was a true gift in itself.
Upon visiting the printing workshop, the printing master Urban demonstrated to us the medieval technique of printing on the replica of Gutenberg’s wooden printing press.
Seeing the old printing work is NOT to be missed, especially because back in the day Bled Castle was (among other) a Protestant stronghold. Ant it was a protestant priest – Primož Trubar (cc 1508 – 1586), who wrote and had the FIRST two books in Slovene language printed. ? ?
Do you want to hear some more great news? Trubar was actually a guest at the Bled Castle (in 1561) – which makes paying a visit here even more important and symbolic thing to do in Slovenia!
By carefully putting together piece by piece, letter by letter, the young printing master Urban printed us Lake Bled medieval postcard with our names on it.
A medieval postcard is made on a hand-made paper, printed with blocks with historical images and lead letters.
Disclosure Note: We thank deeply Bled Castle and our keen host Jože Rozman for making our visit such a special and outstanding experience.