The basin of the present Lake Bled was formed in the last ice age. Part of the Bohinj Glacier excavated soft sediments in its base and extracted a more solid island ridge from the thick-grained massive dolomite. The island is now surrounded by a lake that formed about 14,000 years ago when water was caught between glacial moraines and the hills of Straža, Grad, Mala Osojnica and Ojstrica.
Bled Island is more than 500 m away from the nearest lake bank. It rises 18 m above the surface, and is 170 m long and 90 m wide. The lake is 2,120 m long, 1,080 m wide and up to 30 m deep.
Today, Bled Island is densely overgrown with shrubs and high trees and covered with a layer of humus. However, it was a bare rocky ridge with steep slopes at the beginning of the first millennium B.C.
The island and the people through time
Bled Island’s surface was once more variegated. In the original hollows at the top of the rocky ridge, archaeologists have discovered cultural remains from early prehistory and the Copper Age. About one hundred and twenty graves have been discovered on the island since the early Middle Ages. In the 1960s, archaeological research on Bled Island confirmed the existence of several wooden dwellings. Numerous grave goods confirm the existence of an Old Slavic graveyard that belongs to the circle of Kötla cultural group.
A small shrine probably stood on the island at that time. The original wooden chapel was later transformed into a small church with a rectangular, flat-roofed nave and a semicircular apse. In written sources, the chapel is first mentioned in 1185. In 1004, Emperor St. Henry II donated the estate to the Brixen bishops, who then enlarged the chapel.
After the signing of the Treaty of Friendship (compositio amicabilis), the island passed under the Diocese of Ljubljana in 1688. During this time, the island underwent the most architectural interventions. The island ideological and architectural centre is the church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. Other buildings on the island, however, grew over time with the arrival of pilgrims.
Diversity of plant and animal species
The island has a pronounced change of seasons and fog, dew, mist and frost are common at some times of the year. Due to its location in the middle of the lake, which accumulates heat, Bled Island also has a special microclimate that is different from the surrounding landscape. Thus, even more, sensitive plants, such as figs, thrive on the island. Many smaller animals, especially birds, found their habitat in the vegetation along the island shore.
Information, wedding ceremony and announcement of organized groups:
T: +386 4 576 79 79
F: +386 4 576 79 01
Island fee, info, announcement of organized groups:
T: +386 4576 79 77
T: +386 4 576 79 79
E: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
T: +386 70 865 738
T: +386 4576 79 78
Orders online or in-person at the Parish of Bled office every Monday from 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. Possible additional dates: every day at 7.30 a.m. by prior arrangement with the Parish of Bled.
TRR: IBAN SI56 0700 0000 0791 028 (GB d.d., Kranj)
Slovenski trg 1
ID DDV: SI13782061
TRR: IBAN SI56 0313 9100 0250 549 (SKB d.d.)
Many visitors to the shrine, who have always gone on pilgrimage to the island, love the Wishing Bell. When they ring the bell, they commend themselves to the Mother of God and hand over their wishes and requests in faith that she will fulfil them.