Bled Castle is built on a precipice above the city of Bled in Slovenia, overlooking Lake Bled. According to written sources, it is the oldest Slovenian castle and is currently one of the most visited tourist attractions in Slovenia.

The history of the castle reaches back to 1004 when the German Emperor Henry II gave his estate at Bled to Bishop Albuin of Brixen. At that time, only a Romanesque tower protected by walls stood in the place of the present day castle. The first castle was built in approximately 1011 but the Bishops of Brixen never resided there. This is precisely why the castle has no luxurious halls as the greater emphasis was placed on the defence system.

In the late Middle Ages more towers were built and the fortifications system was improved. Can you imagine entering through the outer walls with the Gothic arch and walking over the drawbridge above the moat. Today, the moat is filled with earth, but the sight is still able to stir up your imagination.

Castle Chapel

The distinctive feature of the castle is its double structure – the fortified centre part was intended for the residence of feudal lords, whilst the outer part with walls and buildings was intended for the residence of servants. In 1511 the castle was heavily damaged by the earthquake. Later on, the castle was restored and given its present appearance. The castle buildings are decorated with coats-of-arms painted in the fresco technique or carved in stone.

The most interesting of all the preserved buildings is most certainly the Gothic chapel on the upper coutyard, which was consecrated to the Bishops St. Albuin and St. Ingenium. It was built in the 16th century, and was renovated in the Baroque style around 1700, when it was also painted with illusionist frescoes. Next to the altar there are paintings of the donors of the Bled estate, the German Emperor Henry II and his wife Kunigunda. Their portraits can also be seen in the Church of the Assumption on the Bled Island.

Today

The Bled Castle is now arranged as an exhibition area. Display rooms next to the chapel present the ancient history of Bled from the first excavations, and the castle in individual stages of its historical development with furniture, characteristic of those times. Although these pieces are not originally from the Bled Castle, they are important as an illustration of the style of living in the historical periods presented.

During the warm months, the castle courtyard hosts numerous cultural events, from which the Medieval Days, when knights present the medieval life to visitors, are the most appreciated.

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Bled, Slovenia
See all sites in Bled

Details

Founded: c. 1011
Category: Castles and fortifications in Slovenia

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Julio Cesar de Moura Augusto (5 months ago)
Impossible to go to Bled and don't take a look at the lake view from the castle. You can see the whole city and so much more. We end in the end of the winter and the mountain peaks were still frozen with snow. The lake is breathing from up here. Inside there is a small museum and a chapel, but the highlight of this castle is definitely the view. They charge €11 to get in.
Orsi N. (6 months ago)
It's a tourist trap. You pay 11 euros to visit the castle grounds, get a decent view on the lake (the lookouts are far better) and all the attractions from the castle are in fact thematic souvenir shops. They have no shame. The castle also features a "museum" - 4 rooms with some rocks , artifact copies and low quality pictures. Google Bled history if you are curious and you'll see better things for free online and save 11 euros.
Finn Lindsay (6 months ago)
Stunning castle overlooking the beautiful Lake Bled. It dominates the skyline from below, and from it, you have absolutely breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains. It's well worth the trip up, even if you need to walk up the seemingly never ending stairs from the lake.
Anup Mallick (6 months ago)
It is an awesome place and must visit a place. There is a breathtaking view of the lake from the castle. Picture perfect place. it is the oldest Slovenian castle and is currently one of the most visited tourist attractions in Slovenia.
Emily Simard (6 months ago)
You need to buy access to the whole castle because you will really lot regret it. Its informative and very interesting the history surrounding the castle, the staff is really super nice and informative, from the wine shop to the paper shop. And you can get a really great and inexpensive glass of wine at the restaurant in the castle with the best view of the lake. It will really take your breath away.
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