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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Address

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

Paco Betanzos (55 days ago)
In winter you could go for a peaceful walk and find every corridor unique and marvelous, you will find yourself inside a movie, or a tale.
Carl Perazzola (2 months ago)
One of the best kept secret places to visit in Europe. We went in 2014! Was incredible place to visit.
Maren Pauli (3 months ago)
The castle is really nice and you have a beautiful view over the lake. Also the way up the hill is a nice walk. Only thing is that I feel the 13€ for the ticket are a bit too much for what you get, especially compared to other castles. Ljubljana castle for example has the same price but offers a lot more. It's still nice to visit and it's the oldest castle in Slovenia, which is an interesting fact.
Primoz Erjavec (4 months ago)
If you want to buy souvenirs then go ahead and pay 13€ for the ticket and 3€ for max 2h parking. There is sadly almost nothing to see. The only thing that was “live” was Janez at the castles printing part. Everything else were souvenir shops (and no staff inside so basically if you wanted to buy something you couldn’t). There are so many better castles in Slovenia that don’t charge an entrance fee and you can get to know much more of the local history there. Also foreign castles in Europe are a lot cheaper and better. If you want a view of the lake then I recommend you go on the other side of the lake to Osojnica hiking place which is only a 15-20min walk and it’s a much better view.
Žiga Aberšek (5 months ago)
Very nice historical architecture with great view on the Bled lake. You must go up to it and take some pictures. The sunset is marvelous and when the night falls can be very romantic. In the restaurant there you can have a good dinner with some wine and she will definitely say yesssssss ☺️
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On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".