Predjama Castle – the Castle in a Cave

Image credit: Franz St. /Flickr

Image credit: Franz St. /Flickr

Predjama Castle is one of the most famous in Slovenia, attracting each year thousands of tourists. Located in small village of Predjama, this amazing Renaissance fortress, built within a cave, is not at all the kind of castle we’re familiar with.

This ancient castle doesn’t have crenellated towers, sumptuous interior decorations or refined details, but it is a special place in so many ways. Predjama castle is definitely not incidentally among the most visited places in Slovenia. The first thing that attracts attention is the castle’s location. At some point one could surely believe that the castle is almost one with the mountain in which it lies. And the contrast between the blackened cliffs and the white walls of the castle offers the sensation that it’s almost unreal.

Image Credit: Victoria Lea B/Flickr

Image Credit: Victoria Lea B/Flickr

Documents certify that “Predjamski Grad”, which mean in Slovenian “the castle in front of the cave”, was built around the 12th century. At that time, the architecture was strongly influenced by elements of the Gothic style. Over the centuries that followed, the castle was owned by several high-bred families. By far the most famous of them all remains Erazem Lueger, the robber baron who owned the castle in the second half of the 15th century. The rebel knight Erazem, who was the son of an Imperial Governor from Trieste, had nothing better to do than fight with the Emperor Frederik III. In short, Erazem killed the commander of the imperial army to avenge the death of his best friend and forced the king to order his imprisonment.

Image credit: Alan Toepfer/Flickr

Image credit: Alan Toepfer/Flickr

After learning about the king’s plans, Erazem took cover within the walls of the ancient Predjama Castle. Soon after that, the brave knight teamed up with the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus in his attempt to rob the properties owned by rich Habsburgs. Of course, the king became more upset and sent a large number of soldiers to Predjama the catch Erazem, dead or alive. And for an entire year, Frederik’s troops failed to complete their mission. And, during all this time, Erazem enjoyed to mock the soldiers by throwing at them buckets full with cherries.

However, everything changed when one of Erazem’s servants was bribed to betray his master. The deal was that the servant had to announce the troops when Erazem was in the toilet, which was at the upper level of the huge fortress so that they could throw with a cannonball at him. Said and done. And this is the sad story of how brave knight Erazem died.

Predjama Castle is a fifth-storey building with 15 rooms. It has been rebuilt twice, after suffering considerable damage due to the war between Erazem and Emperor Frederik III and after it was destroyed by an earthquake. The present castle was built in 1570 in the Renaissance style and it is considered a real masterpiece.


Currently, the castle hosts various events such as the annual Medieval Tournament named after Erazem (held in July).

Location: It is located in the village of Predjama, approximately 11 kilometres from the town of Postojna and 9 kilometres from Postojna Cave.

Submission by Luka Lisjak.


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