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(anytime - October 2019)

Sam Rohn

Persistence of Vision

Brian Richards

Plenta to/from Bled Island

Lake Bled, Slovenia

8th June 2019 10:42am

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© 2019 Brian Richards, All Rights Reserved.

The traditional transportation to Bled Island is a wooden boat known as a pletna. The word pletna is a borrowing from Bavarian German Plätten 'flat-bottomed boat'. Some sources claim the pletna was used in Lake Bled as early as 1150 AD, but most historians date the first boats to 1590 AD. Similar in shape to Italian gondolas, a pletna seats 20 passengers. Modern boats are still made by hand and are recognizable by their colorful awnings. Pletna oarsman employ the stehrudder technique to propel and navigate boats across the lake using two oars. The role of the oarsman dates back to 1740, when Empress Maria Theresa granted 22 local families exclusive rights to ferry religious pilgrims across Lake Bled to worship on Bled Island. The profession is still restricted. Many modern oarsman descend directly from the original 22 families. No motor boats allowed on the lake. [Wikipedia]
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