Church of the Assumption, Bled Island, Slovenia

Margaret  Hyde

Ulverstone, Australia

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1214 viewings on 3 July, 2016

Archeologists have found foundations of a pre-Romanesque chapel dating from the 9th to the 11th century. According to written sources, the first masonry church on the island, a three naved Romanesque basillica was concecrated by the Aquilean patriach Pelligrino in 1142. In the 15th century it was rebuilt in the Gothic style; a new presbytery, a free standing bell tower and the main altar were built. The renovated single -nave church was consecrated in 1465 by the first bishop of Lyubljana, Count Ziga Lamberg. In 1509 it was so damaged by an earthquake that it required thorough renovation and this was carried out in the Baroque style.
Only the frescoes in the presbytery and a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary, which probably adorned the main altar, are preserved from the previous Gothic church. The church’s present form is from the 17th century when it was renovated after another earthquake. The bell tower, which was built in the 15th century, has been renovated several times due to damage by two earthquakes, and in 1688 it was struck by lightning. The present tower is 54 m high and has three bells, which were made by Samassa and Franchi, bell makers from Ljubljana. Like the church, the other buildings, the walls and the monumental staircase (99 stairs) preserve their image from the 17th century. Of special interest is the “wishing bell” from 1534 in the upper roof beam above the church nave, by F. Patavina from Padova.

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