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.

References:

Comments

Your name



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 (6 months 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 (7 months ago)
One of the best kept secret places to visit in Europe. We went in 2014! Was incredible place to visit.
Maren Pauli (8 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 (9 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 (10 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 ☺️
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Angelokastro

Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.

Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.

Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.

The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.

During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.

The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.

From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.

The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.

Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.