Just over 30 miles northwest of the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, you’ll find an alpine lake that looks straight out of a fairytale. With a cliff-side castle, an emerald green, fresh water lake and some of the best views of the Julian Alps, you’d be forgiven for mistaking Lake Bled and its island church for a storybook cover.
image credit: Great Big Story
And as you cross the lake in a traditional wooden boat, learn the legend of the bell that lies below these emerald green waters.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.
image credit: travelslovenia
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.
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.