Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Church of St Martin in Bled, Slovenia; an Architectural Gem.

The Church of Saint Martin in Bled, Slovenia
On the east shore of mesmerizing Lake Bled (Bled, Slovenia) stands the charming white church of Saint Martin, it’s spire one of the most distinguishable landmarks in the area and eye-catcher to every tourist that comes to the famous lake of Bled.

Saint Martin is remembered as the wealthy bishop of Tours, who used his sword to cut his robe in two, to give half of it to a beggar. An relief over the entrance of this church tells of this.

The first thing a visitor will notice about this church is its curious composition. The signature tower is not positioned at one of the ends of the church but rather in the middle of it. A high cross on the sharp spire gives the steeple an unusual slender appearance. With the right kind of eyes, the visitor may recognize Martin’s swords, cutting through the church as once through his military robe.

The interior of St Martin's church - Bled, Slovenia

Whether or not the builders sought to commemorate Martin’s generosity can’t be determined, but the interior of the building is covered in a carnival of colorful murals, from the floor to the Gothic ribbed vault. The main altar is decidedly modest, almost in stark contrast to the exuberance of the murals.

The present church of St Martin in Bled is a neo-Gothic structure, erected in 1905, replacing the remnants of a succession of chapels that were all somehow destroyed.

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