Lake Bled is one of the most visited destinations in Slovenia. Many people come mainly because of the lake or the Vintgar-gorge, but you cannot miss Bled Castle, which is more than a thousand-year-old. Walking to the castle and spending time there is also an ideal medieval program with kids, so it is perfect for families. Slovenia's oldest castle on the lake is waiting for you to discover.
Bled Castle is undoubtedly the most famous castle in Slovenia. Bled's prominent place on the list of the best 50 attractions in Slovenia is – among other things -due to the castle.
To make it easier to organize, we have gathered the most important information that may be essential if you wish to visit the castle.
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- The castle is more than 1000 years old. It was built in the early 11th century. Originally, a Romanian tower stood on the site of today's castle.
- The building is located 130 meters above the lake. This also means that you should be going up only because of the view.
- Address of Bled Castle: Grajska Cesta, 4260 Bled, Slovenia. As for the approach, you can go by car or taxi or hike up to the castle.
- Of course, the view is not the only thing worth visiting here. The castle will also have a museum, a wine cellar, a printing house, a blacksmith's workshop, a souvenir shop, and a restaurant.
- Bled castle ticket prices: 11 EUR for an adult, 7 EUR for a student, and 5 EUR for a child (2019 data). You can find the current price list here.
- The opening hours of Bled Castle vary from season to season. Generally speaking, it opens at 8 a.m. and closes from 6 to 8 p.m., depending on the season. You can find the exact opening hours here.
The pictures, of course, speak for themselves. So let’s start with some iconic images and a little amazement.
History of Bled Castle
Bled Castle is more than 1000 years old and was built for defence purposes. It is considered to be the earliest built castle in Slovenia. Bled Castle is a symbol of both Slovenia and Bled in most guidebooks.
The castle's history dates back to the beginning of the 11th century when II. King Henry of Germany donated the area to the Bishopric of Brixen. At that time, only one Romanian tower stood in its place. Construction of the castle then began. Bled's name also originally referred to the castle: castellum Veldes.
It would have been quite tiring, lengthy, and dangerous for the bishops of Brixen to ride 300 km regularly to Bled, so they got a letting for the castle.
Thus it was inhabited by the Kreigh family for nearly two hundred years, and then in 1278, the Habsburgs took control of the castle. It all remained like this until the 19th century. Of course, it was still rented, and thanks to that, it was inhabited by many noble families throughout history.
In the 19th century, as a result of the Napoleonic Wars came Napoleon. It then returned to the bishopric of Brixen, who sold it to a craftsman, the owner of the ironworks in Jesenice, in 1848, when feudalism ended. He then quickly passed on it within a few decades.
In the early 20th century, a hotel owner, Ivan Kenda, bought the entire area, including the lake, the island, and the castle, to convert it into a hotel. It eventually failed, and the castle became state property by the second half of the 20th century.
At the end of World War II, a fire broke out, destroying the roof and the rooms on the upper level. A few years later, renovation work began, which resulted in the building being fully renovated and rebuilt in 10 years.
Thanks to its adventurous story and the many inhabitants, the castle now has a varied form. Its walls were built in Romanesque style, but the other buildings bear the mark of the Renaissance. It is on two levels, so a staircase connects two inner courtyards.
Approaching Bled Castle
Getting to Bled from the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, is extremely easy. You can reach Bled about 45 minutes from the city centre and 30 minutes from the airport.
Bled Castle is located on a cliff above the city so you can reach it in a few minutes by car. It is possible to take a taxi from the centre of Bled, local drivers will be happy to pick you up for around 5-10 euros.
Of course, you can also hike up to the castle. I recommend this. It is a 1 km long hike with a 100 m ascent, which is exciting enough because of the view.
Of course, in the neighbourhood of Bled, there are many active recreation opportunities in addition to excursions to the castle. You can find them all on Trekhunt.
A few meters from the entrance to the castle you will find a car park that all visitors can use. It is reserved for cars, buses, motorcycles, and camping vehicles. Parking on Google Street View.
Chapel in Bled Castle
In the 16th century, the Gothic chapel was frescoed by Henry II., a German-Roman emperor, and his wife (Kunigunda). After the earthquake of 1690, the chapel was enlarged. Of course, the chapel is not huge this way either. It can be walked around in a few minutes.
Restaurant in Bled Castle
The restaurant in the castle is a special place for those who want to capture the view of Lake Bled or perhaps try the typical Slovenian cuisine. The restaurant’s menu includes seasonal fresh food and traditional Upper Krajina food.
The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. As the place is particularly popular, guests are not served without prior reservation.
There is also a café within the restaurant, and you can taste the Bled cream cake here. In addition, wine specialties can be found on the menu. The café is open from 8 am to 8 pm from March to October.
The Jezersek family also organizes weddings and other special events in the castle, where it can taste the place's specialties.
The bled cream cake
Millions of cream cakes have been sold in the city of Bled. The recipe was first created in 1953. An important parameter is the size of the cake. 7 x 7 x 7-centimetre real cream cake is found only in the castle of Bled. They are made from eggs, flour, butter, and sugar, with no added colourants, preservatives, or other ingredients, and they still achieve a special taste.
We can safely say that every tourist visiting Bled tastes Bled cream cake at least once, some repeatedly. To meet the incredible demand, on the busiest days, they have to make new cream cakes every hour.
- Address:Grajska cesta, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
- Email address: email@example.com
In the summer months, medieval-themed events are also held at Bled Castle.
- June - August: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- November - March: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- In other months: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Adult: 11 EUR
- Student: 7 EUR
- Child (<15 years old): 5 EUR
- For families: One child ticket is free with two adults
- Over 20 people: one person can enter for free