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Predjama Castle, Slovenia, 1st March 2019

March 25, 2019
Written by: Rob Slusar

After our trip down Postojna Caves, we headed a few Km up the road to the next location on our ticket. Predjama Castle.

Predjama Castle

Sat above the small village of Predjama, stands the impressive and imposing structure of Predjama Castle.

What makes this castle unusual is its construction. Not only is it an external fortress, but it extends deep into the caves behind, creating a whole seperate system protected from attack. Its cave locations also made it possible to escape the castle from any attackers without being detected.

It is not clear when it was built, but it was first mentioned in the 1200s. It was later owned and extended by the Leugg noble family (also known as the Knights of Adelsberg, the German name for Postojna), who probably represent the most celebrated phase in the castle’s history.

The Castle became the main seat of the knight Erasmus of Luegg. It was under his stewardship that the castle came under sustained attack. It is believed that he killed the commander (member of the Hapsburg family) of the Holy Roman Imperial Army, after he offended Erasmus’ dead friend.

After returning the castle, he continued his attacks on the Hapsburgs until the Emperor ordered his capture or execution.

The castle held out many sieges with the help of the cave, until one day one of Erasmus’ men provided the opposing army with information, resulting in Erasmus being killed by a cannon ball whilst on the toilet.

The castle was rebuilt by new owners, and then again in its current Renaissance style after it was destroyed by an earthquake. It became a museum after WW2.

Photos

This is an impressive castle to look at, but the real joy is it’s externals. I didn’t take many internals due to the exhibits crowding the space, but hopefully this small selection gives you an idea of the castle.

The castle sites high above the ground, protected within the cave behind it. As you walk up to it, you get a vision of how it worked as a defensive structure. It does look almost impenetrable as you approach.

Built in a Renaissance style, it has been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times in its more than 800 year history.

This crest was installed with one of the more recent refurbishments.

Looking out over Predjama village from one of the castle openings.

From the back of the castle, you could enter the cave system. A convenient place for extra space, security and a means of escape. This is looking into the village from inside the cave.

It’s not clear how many rooms were inside the cave, but it was used as regular accommodation in the castle’s prime. You can see at low level where windows were cut into the rock face.

This picture perhaps illustrates the relationship between castle and cave. They are one and the same. The structure to the left is all rock face, to the right is the brick and stonework that is built off of it to form the front of the castle.

Ok, just one more look.

Final Thoughts

One of my main issues with castles in Slovenia is that when they are restored, whilst done well, the look too new. They also like to fill the old rooms with shops to get you to buy stuff. This one was refreshingly different.

Yes it had exhibits set up, but it still felt like a real castle and was an enjoyable couple of hours wander around the area.

As mentioned before, you can get it on a join ticket with the caves, so it is worth checking out.

Thanks for looking.

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