Lake Bled – History
A habitation ground ever since Mesolithic ages, Bled Castle used to be initially mentioned as Ueldes in the March of Carniola on April 10, 1004, the date on which it was gifted by Emperor Henry II to Bishop Albuin I of Brixen. With Carniola it was handed over to Rudolph of Habsburg after he won the Battle on the Marchfeld in 1278 by defeating King Ottokar II of Bohemia. Since 1364 Bled was considered as division of the Duchy of Carniola and of the Napoleonic Illyrian Provinces during the periods between 1809 and 1816.
After the closure of Austria-Hungary in the year 1918, Bled became a part the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and was treated as a summer resort of the governing House of Karadordevic, a custom which President Josip Broz Tito carried on, when he set up his house here in the year 1947. Bled was declared an independent municipality in the year 1996 and in 2000, Bled was made the home of IEDC-Bled School of Management, which is also known as “the Harvard of Southern and Central Europe”.
The lake came into being with the recession of the Bohinj glacier. It measures almost 2120 meters in length and about 1380 meters in width; its depth is 30.6 meters at the maximum and it is tectonic in origin. Post the last Ice Age, the Bohinj glacier further extended the natural tectonic hollow and resulted into its current form. The basin overflowed with water as soon as the ice completely melted. Lake Bled does not have any big natural tributaries; it gets its supply only from a few springs.
The thermal springs located in the north-eastern part of Lake Bled are connected to three swimming pools – that of Grand Hotel Toplice, Hotel Park and of Hotel Golf. The picture-perfect picture of Lake Bled is accentuated by the presence of the island in the western side of the lake.
Lake Bled Attractions
Located at a picturesque site surrounded by mountains and forests, the Lake Bled overlooks the Bled Castle, which is a medieval castle rising higher than the lake on the northern shore. Built atop a 130 meter cliff, the castle has a 52-metre romanesque tower, which is the oldest element of the fort. More towers were incorporated in the Middle Ages and the existing primitive fortifications were bettered. Other buildings in this area were built during the Baroque period. Structurally, the buildings surround two courtyards, both of which are interconnected with a stairway with 99 steps. The chapel on the higher courtyard was constructed in the 16th century, and restored around the year 1700, when it was also adorned with visionary frescoes. The drawbridge over a moat is an interesting feature of the Bled castle that typically gives one a feel of the age old fortresses. Even today weddings are regularly held here.
A popular destination for rowers, Lake Bled offers excellent climatic conditions for the water sport. It has a history of having hosted the World Rowing Championships in the years 1966, 1979, as well as 1989. It is scheduled to host the World Rowing Championship in the year 2011.
How to reach Lake Bled
The Lake Bled is situated at a distance of 35 km from the Ljubljana International Airport which is the nearest airport here and at 55 km from the capital city Ljubljana.