Lake Bled (Slovene: Blejsko jezero; German: Bleder See, Veldeser See) is a lake in the Julian Alps of the Upper Carniolan region of northwestern Slovenia, where it adjoins the town of Bled. The area is a tourist destination. The lake is 35 km (22 mi) from Ljubljana International Airport and 55 km (34 mi) from the capital city, Ljubljana.
The lake is of mixed glacial and tectonic origins. It is 2,120 m (6,960 ft) long and 1,380 m (4,530 ft) wide, with a maximum depth of 29.5 m (97 ft) and has a small island (Bled Island). The lake is situated in a picturesque environment, surrounded by mountains and forests. The medieval-era Bled Castle stands above the lake on the north shore.The Zaka Valley lies at the west end of the lake.
The World Rowing Championships in 1966, 1979, 1989 and 2011 were held at Lake Bled.
The lake surrounds Bled Island (Blejski otok). The island has several buildings, the main one being the pilgrimage church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary (Cerkev Marijinega vnebovzetja), built in its current form near the end of the 17th century, and decorated with remains of Gothic frescos from around 1470 in the presbyterium and rich Baroque equipment. The church has a 52 m (171 ft) tower and there is a Baroque stairway from 1655 with 99 stone steps leading up to the building. The church is frequently visited and weddings are held there regularly. Traditionally it is considered good luck for the groom to carry his bride up the steps on the day of their wedding before ringing the bell and making a wish inside the church.
Town of Bled
Bled (pronounced [ˈbleːt]; German: Veldes, in older sources also Feldes) is a town on Lake Bled in the Upper Carniolan region of northwestern Slovenia. It is the administrative seat of the Municipality of Bled. It is most notable as a popular tourist destination in the Upper Carniola region and in Slovenia as whole, attracting visitors from abroad too.
The town was first attested in written sources as Ueldes in 1004 (and as Veldes in 1011). The etymology of the name is unknown and it is believed to be of pre-Slavic origin. The German name of the town, Veldes, was either borrowed from Old Slovene *Beldъ before AD 800 or is derived from the same pre-Slavic source as the Slovene name.
Bled is located on the southern foot of the Karawanks mountain range near the border with Austria, about 50 km (31 mi) northwest of the state capital Ljubljana. South of Lake Bled are the densely forested Pokljuka and Jelovica plateaus, the easternmost parts of the Julian Alps. Here the Sava Bohinjka and the parallel Bohinj Railway lead up to the Bohinj basin, Lake Bohinj, and the Triglav massif.
A number of rises (Grad 599 m, Straža 646 m, Kozarca 558 m, Osojnica 756 m, and Ravnica 729 m) separate the localities of Bled around the lake, the former villages of Grad, Mlino, Rečica, Zagorice, and Želeče.
The lake is 2.12 kilometres (1.32 mi) long and 0.5 to 1 kilometre (0.31 to 0.62 mi) wide. In summer, the surface water reaches 25 °C (77 °F) and retains a temperature up to 18 °C (64 °F) until autumn. As such, it is suitable for swimming. In colder winters it freezes and is used for ice skating.
There is a thermal spring (23 °C or 73 °F) near the lake, next to the Bled Fault. Its water is used in indoor pools in two hotels.
Bled Castle (Slovene: Blejski grad, German: Burg Veldes) is a medieval castle 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 castle was first mentioned in a 22 May 1011 deed of donation issued by Emperor Henry II in favour of the Bishops of Brixen. Then located in the March of Carniola, it passed to the Austrian House of Habsburg in 1278.
The oldest part of the castle is the Romanesque tower. In the Middle Ages more towers were built and the fortifications were improved. Other buildings were constructed in the Renaissance style. The buildings are arranged around two courtyards, which are connected with a staircase. There is a chapel in the upper courtyard, which was built in the 16th century and renovated around 1700, when it was also painted with illusionist frescoes. The castle also has a drawbridge over a moat.