While the romantic position of the lovely Baroque Church of the Assumption on a minuscule mound in the middle of Lake Bled is enough to attract thousands of visitors to it each year – it is one of Slovenia’s most popular wedding venues – it is also feted thanks to its internal ornamentation, 177‐foot (54‐meter) tower and dedication to the Virgin Mary. Starting out as a pagan temple many years before the advent of Christianity, the church has at various times been a small, wooden structure and a single‐aisle Gothic church, which was consecrated by the Bishop of Ljubljana in 1465. The freestanding bell tower appeared later in the same century and the church was reconstructed yet again in 1685 in its present Baroque style, with a deliciously OTT gilt‐encrusted altar and black marble and wood‐carved pulpits contrasting keenly with its serene white and cream aisles. Two legends surround the church: that men must carry their partners up the 99 steps of the 15th‐century stone staircase leading up to its entrance to ensure marital happiness; and that ringing the wishing bell – which dates from 1534 – on the left of the altar makes wishes come true.
Admission adults €6, under 18s €1. Opening hours Apr & Oct 9am–6pm; May–Sept 9am–7pm; Nov–Mar 9am–4pm. Pletna boats make the journey over to Bled Island and are available for hire from three locations on the lakeshore: at Mlino on the south side of Lake Bled; at the rowing center on the northern shores; and close to the tourist office at the eastern end of the lake. Return fares are €12 per person.