LAKE BLED – DRACULA’S SUMMER HOME
4 June – Lake Bled, Slovenia
Sunny and warm for my one hour bus ride north to scenic Lake Bled, known for its emerald green mountain lake with Bled Castle perched high above, all amidst the Julian Alps.
Bled was first mentioned in 1004, when it was awarded by Emperor Henry II to Bishop Albuin I of Brixen. (If you couldn’t be an Emperor it paid to be a Bishop.) Bled Castle followed by 1011. In 1274, Bled fell under the Habsburgs, lasting until 1919, except for a stint between 1809 and 1816 as one of the Napoleonic Illyrian Provinces. After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in 1918, Bled came under the rule of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and became a summer domicile of the ruling House of Karađorđević, a tradition that President Josip Broz Tito continued when he built his residence here in 1947. Tito knew a good view when he saw one. (more…)