Naturopath Arnold Rikli (1823-1906) contributed to the development of Lake Bled as a health resort in the 2nd half of the 19th century. Due to its mild climate and the beauty of the site (perched on a rock overlooking the lake is the iconic Bled Castle), Bled has been visited by aristocratic guests from all across the world. After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in 1918 it became a summer domicile of the Yugoslavia-ruling house of Kara?or?evi?, a tradition that President Josip Broz Tito continued after the Second World War.
Today Bled is an important convention centre and tourist resort, offering a wide range of sport activities (golf, fishing, horseback-riding) and is a starting point for mountain treks and hikes especially within the nearby Triglav National Park.
A small island in the middle of the lake is home to the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church; visitors frequently ring its bell for good luck. Human traces from prehistory have been found on the island. Before the church was built, there was a temple consecrated to Živa, the Slavic goddess of love and fertility. One can get to the island on a traditional wooden row barge called Pletna. The island on Lake Bled has 99 steps. A local tradition at weddings is for the husband to carry his new bride up these steps, during which the bride must remain silent.
Bled is also known in Slovenia for its vanilla-and-cream pastry called kremna rezina or kremšnita.
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