Pardon, is this Paradise?

Bled Castle, Matevž Lenarčič,
Bled Castle, Matevž Lenarčič,

Bled. The place where the mountain fairies used to dance; they called upon waters from the nearby hills to torrent into the valley, flooding, creating Lake Bled from which only a green rocky peak yet ascends. So – legend has it, was born the lake and its famous little island, an iconic image of Slovenia. It’s no surprise that Bled is a tourist gem and a leading destination for various meetings and events in the Alpine region. The heavenly scenery, resembling a fairy-tale setting, makes the visitor pause for a moment, wondering: “Pardon, is this paradise?” A stone’s throw away stands the Bled Castle, described by the records as the oldest castle in Slovenia, with tremendous sights soaring across the lake and its island from the viewing terraces, the snowy peaks of the Karavanke Mountains and the Julian Alps glimmering on the horizon – yet almost within reach. Next to the surrounding nature, the wow! factor of Bled is certainly fashioned by the Bled Castle and its amazing imagery.

The Alpine jewel of Slovenia shines throughout the seasons, though especially in the warmer months of the summer and spring when the locale is lively with happenings – there’s the Okarina world music showcase, then the Oberkreinerfest popular folk music festival that was founded here, the Bled International Music Festival, many conferences, congresses, incentives and various other events. Melody and joy are in the air. As a destination, Bled can accommodate up to 800 attendees and offers interesting experiences based on natural and cultural heritage.

Medieval Games! Noble knights, fire breathers, lovely ladies, blacksmiths, merchants, bards and minstrels … within castle walls, you can test your hand at swordplay or archery in a contest of friendly mettle, or perhaps let your creative spirit loose on some medieval crafts. Blindfolded, meandering for a way out the castle labyrinth, time and strategy are of the essence. Hold your breath and prepare for the adrenaline rush! After adventurous castle activities, a well deserved rest is in order. Make yourself comfortable in the king’s throne and enjoy some hearty local schnapps, while the likes are showering over your chosen photo of the victorious knightly order. For perfect immersion, everyone in the games is dressed in proper medieval attire. Keep in mind this isn’t just hasty nostalgia but a full-blooded staging of the historical spirit, a charming presentation of the castle past. Heartfelt experiences will charge you with fresh energy, whether you’re attending a conference in one of Bled’s venues, here for teambuilding or incentive, or simply on leisure.

The Medieval Games are followed by an exploration of the castle’s many other traits, nestled on the cliff overlooking the glacial lake. With its selection of premium wines, the castle cellar beckons to a toast with an outstanding vintage, decanted into a tailor-made bottle while the printing press creates your memorial plaque, certificate or some other document, a token memorabilia of your experience on the Bled Castle. Perhaps you’ll even opt for your own coat-of-arms on a memorial coin; namely, as befits a castle, this one has its own forge. Bled’s surroundings with their iron ore deposits spurred the beginnings of the local tradition of ironworks arts and crafts.

Naturally, an event won’t do without a feast! No worries, especially with the exquisite gastronomy of the Bled Castle Restaurant, one of Slovenia’s most noted culinary points. You’ll be treated like royalty there, enjoying delicious modern interpretations of traditional dishes and drinks. And for dessert, the town’s famous pastry: the Bled cream slice (blejska kremšnita), rounding out the sweetness of your visit. With a 100% authentic castle experience, audiences are destined to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere, departing with cheerful memories. Come and see for yourself!

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Author: Jasna Jašič, Marketing & Communications Manager, Slovenian Convention Bureau; photo: M. Lenarcic, STB