Historical Origin And Design Inspiration
Bled enters history in 1004 when king Henrik II. grants estate Bled (predium, quod dictiur Ueldes) in province Carniola to Bishop Albuin of Sében (later diocese of Sében was renamed to diocese of Brixen) and his church, with all that comes with estate. Granted estate covered all of the northern Carniola in those days. First explicit mentioning of the castle, by some sources the oldest castle in Slovenia, is in 1011 when king Henrik II. in his gift act extends given estate and adds a castle - castellum Veldes to diocese of Brixen.
In year 1154 Meinhardi videlicet de Ueldes is mentioned and in 1179 Reinhardus de Ueldes, both were ministerials in Bled. In that time castle was severly robbed by counts from Gorica-Tyrol region so in 1236 bishop Henrik IV. of Brixen transfered regalia for his diocese to caesar Friderik II.. He handed protection of the castle to Carinthian duke in such way, that earnings of the castle remained to count.
In 1245 we encounter a reference to a castle as castrum nostrum Veldes when bishop Egon wanted to get the castle back by paying 250 marks in silver to knight Gerloh of Jeterbenk and Viljem of Bled, which took away castle from bishop. In fact the castle soon returned in hands of diocese of Brixen.
In 1288, after death of bishop Bruno, Bled was occupied by Majnhard II. of Tyrol, until 1296, when on his death bed he denounced of the castle and castle was again in the hands of diocese of Brixen. Castellan - purgraf auf Veldes comes to castle in 1312 and replaces former Brixen ministerials named by Bled. Between 1317 and 1588 we encounter tenants Kreighs, which are followed by Auspergs ant then others. in 1803 Bled estate and castle were sequestrated by the government.
For the timebeing of French occupation between 1809 and 1813 earnings of estate were used to support Governor-General of Illyrian Provinces Marshal Marmont and after French left different managers followed and most of them substantially benefited on the account of the estate but neglected maintenance of castle buildings. In 1858 estate was bought by Viktor Ruard, industrialist from Kranj but it was soon sold and again started to migrate from one hahd to another. Immediately before World War II, the castle was taken over by Drava Banate.
After the war the castle was nationalized and declared as cultural monument. After fire in 1947, when the roof above residential wing was burnt, reconstruction works began. At the end of 1950s and start of 1960s architect Tone Bitenc was overseeing the reconstruction and in that time courtyards were levelled and paved, panoramic platforms were arranged, both plateaus were linked with stairs and by that rearranged the whole into modern tourist destination.
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