This Slovenian Church Bell Grants Wishes, Legend Has It
A brief swim in a Slovenia lake, 99 steps skyward, and three rings of a bell are all it takes to achieve your wildest dreams.
At least, so goes the legend of the chapel at Lake Bled, Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary.
Pope Clement VII decreed in the 16th century that the bell at this tiny island church in northwestern Slovenia could grant wishes, BBC Travel reported. It comes with two caveats, however: The bell-ringer only has one wish and must believe in the Catholic God.
The chapel wasn't always endowed with this specific mystical capacity, and it has evolved over the centuries, serving a variety of belief systems.
The site of the chapel was once a temple to Ziva, the Slavic goddess of love and fertility. During battles between pagans and Christians, the temple was destroyed, according to Lake Bled’s website.
Christians rebuilt the site in the Gothic style in the 16th century and then were forced to rebuild again in 1509 after an earthquake damaged the integrity of the structure.
Briefly in the 1800s, Lake Bled even served as a spa retreat to wealthy European aristocrats, Atlas Obscura reported.
Now the church is still open to visitors and locals, many of whom celebrate their marriages with the husband carrying his wife in silence up the stairs to bring good luck to their union. Those who don't want to make the swim can take a gondola to arrive to the site.