500 meters above sea level, the town of Bled is a scenic alpine resort in northwestern Slovenia. Bled is perhaps best known for Lake Bled (Blejsko jezero in Slovene, Veldeser See in German) a 2,120 m long and 1,380 m wide lake surrounded by mountains and forests. The lake surrounds Bled Island (Blejski otok), home of the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church, a popular tourist destination where visitors ring the church bells for good luck.
Bled Castle (Blejski grad), perched on a 130 m cliff overlooking Lake Bled, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Slovenia and was built prior to 1004.
After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy following the end of the First World War, Bled belonged to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and was the summer home of the ruling house of Karađorđević. It was later the summer home of Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito.
Bled is home of the IEDC-Bled School of Management, founded in 1986 as the International Executive Development Center. The city is also a popular convention center and health resort. Tourists can enjoy a wide range of activities including golf, fishing, and horseback riding, and the nearby Triglav National Park in Slovenia is a popular destination for hikers. Triglav is the country’s highest mountain with an elevation of 2,854 m and is an important Slovene national symbol, included in the Slovenian coat of arms and the country’s flag.
Yale Braunstein is a contributing editor at Executive Road Warrior.