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Church of the Assumption of Maria - Lake Bled, Slovenia

 Church of the Assumption of Maria, Lake Bled
Upclose Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria
Panoramic View of Lake Bled
Lake Bled, Slovenia

According to a legend which stayed with the people, the temple of the ancient Slavic goddess Živa, once stood in the place of the present Baroque church. The temple disappeared during battles between the followers of the pagan religion and Christians, who destroyed the altar and built a church.
On the Bled island, archaeologists have discovered traces of prehistoric (11th to 8th centuries B.C.) and Slavic (9th to 10th century) settlements. In the early Middle Ages a pre-Christian, probably Old Slavic cult area stood at the location of the present day church. 124 graves with skeletons from the 9th to the 11th century were found. The foundations of a pre-Romanesque chapel which was built during the process of Christianisation, also date from approximately the same period - this is probably the only discovered example of a cult building from those times on Slovenian territory. According to written sources, the first masonry church on the island, a three-nave Romanesque basilica, was consecrated by the Aquilean patriarch Pellegrino in 1142.
In the 15th century, it was rebuilt in the Gothic style: a new presbytery, a freestanding bell tower and the main altar were built. The renovated single-nave church was consecrated in 1465 by the first bishop of Ljubljana, count Žiga Lamberg.
In 1509 it was damaged by an earthquake to such an extent that it required thorough renovation, and this was carried out in the Baroque style. Only the frescoes in the presbytery and a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary, which probably adorned the main altar, were preserved from the previous Gothic church.

Traditional wooden boats – pletnas – have been taking visitors to the island in the middle of the lake for centuries. These boats are operated by standing rowers known as pletnars. After landing, guests climb 99 stone steps to reach the Assumption of Mary Church. On this island, which is the subject of legendary tales, listen to the church bell and ring it yourself. Legend has it that this will make your wishes come true. As you return to the lake shore, view the island on the lake from the castle or from the walking and horse-carriage trails that lead you around the lake.

Pictures by MSW
Church of the Assumption of Maria - Lake Bled, Slovenia Reviewed by Ah Wee on 11:16 AM Rating: 5

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