It seems that Bled has gotten enough wonderful nature around, but then they top that with an island in the lake. It is not big, in five minutes one can easily walk around the whole island, once one has climbed the rather steep slopes, rising from the water.

There is a church standing, which actually gives the island its own charakter. The island is situated in the western part of the lake. A good swimmer could make it without trouble from the nearest shore, to go the 400 meters to the island. But that is not really necessary, because one can rent a boat and row out there.
For those, wanting it even more comfortable, it is possible to rent a boat together with an oarsman. The transit takes about 15 minutes. The skipper waits on the island for half an hour, before he takes his customers back.

Half an hour is quite enough, because the only attraction on the island is the church, if you don't count the beautiful views one has from there. Today's church got its present looks first in the 18th century. But excavations have shown, that there have stood sacred buildings earlier, at least from the 9th century onwards, when there were four chapels. From the 9th to the 11th century the island was also used as a graveyard. And the very oldest findings tell us, that the island was inhabited so early as the 7th century BC, because from this time one has found the remains of buildings.
The church was changed a lot in the 15th century. It got a new presbytery (that is the area, which is reserved for the cleric, where the parish wasn't allowed), a new altar and a new belfry. In the 17th century the church got a rebuild in baroque style, and there were three new altars erected as well. The high altar of today is from the year 1747.
At present the church has no less than five altars, two sidealtars in front of the presbytery and one in each end of the short transept. The latter ones are dedicated to Holy Mary.

A special attraction of the church on the island is the wishing bell. In front of the presbytery there is a rope hanging down, which you should pull three times to make the little bell in the belfry chime. During that time you have the chance to utter a wish, which afterwards - hopefully - comes true.
To be mentioned is also the Stations of the Cross, which usually leads around the church (in stations). Here they are put together at the backside of the church, as they are symbolized in the form of rather big oil paintings. That is also a nice solution.

Copyright Bernhard Kauntz, Wolvertem 2012

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last update: 2.6.2012 by