Predjama Castle. Castle in Slovenia, Europe

Predjama Castle

Castle in Slovenia, Europe

Predjama Castle Photo © Ziga

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Predjama Castle

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	Predjama Castle
Predjama Castle. Photo by Ziga
Mysterious and unique, Predjama Castle is located in a 123 m high vertical cliff, in the entrance of a cave. This picturesque and romantic location made it an interesting and well known site. The undoubtedly most famous of all castle inhabitants was the knight, Erazem of Predjama (Wikipedia Article), who rebelled against the imperial autocracy in the 15th century.

The castle is only accessible from one side and from that direction is protected with a cliff. The interesting thing about this castle is that there is a secret passage through the cave, which meant that during a siege the castle inhabitants could sneak out and get food and drink supply. The castle is now a museum and holds great features - a drawbridge over a raging river, a dungeon, a 16th century chest full of treasure, and a hiding place at the top called Erazem's Nook, named for Erazem Lueger. From May to September, it is also possible to visit the picturesque cave under Predjama Castle. In July, the castle hosts the Erasmus Tournament, a day when knights, lords, and troubadours entertain crowds with jousting competitions and sword fights, among many other activities. The Predjama Castle isn't huge as far as castles go, but the castle is so charming and so different from any other castle in Central Europe making it a must see if you’re in the area.

History

Castle interior -
	Predjama Castle
Castle interior - Predjama Castle. Photo by János Korom Dr
The castle was probably built in the 12th century, but was first mentioned in the year 1274 with the German name ‘Luegg’. The owners of the castle were Patriarchs of Aquileia (Wikipedia Article) who named it in rough translation from the Latin Cave Castle (Wikipedia Article) in the Karst, the castle's Slovene name, Predjamski grad means "Castle in front of the cave". 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. According to legends, Erazem came into conflict with the Habsburgs when he killed the commander of the Imperial army, Marshall Pappencheim, who had offended the honor of Erazem's deceased friend, Andrej Baumkircher of Vipava (Wikipedia Article). Taking sides with Mathias Corvinus, he fortified himself with his troops in Predjama Castle, attacked the town of Trieste twice and defied the Imperial army for quite a long time. While under siege, he and his associates were supplied through the caves and were very difficult to conquer. As it often happens in warfare, he was betrayed and allegedly shot with a canon in his restroom.

Castle interior -
	Predjama Castle
Castle interior - Predjama Castle. Photo by János Korom Dr
So, the first castle was seized by the Habsburgs and was consequently damaged. A new fortress was made by the Purgstall family, but soon the legendary earthquake in 1511 ruined the castle. In 1567, the Austrian Archduke Karel of Austria invested the Kobencl family from Prosek with the Jama manor. They bought the castle and built a new one in Renaissance style just under the overhanging rock where the old medieval fortress used to stand. The castle has remained in such form, virtually unchanged, until the present. In the 18th century, it became the Kobencl family's favorite summer residence. The last Kobencl bequeathed Predjama Castle to his relative, Count Mihael Coronini from Kromberk, whose wife sold the fortress to Prince Weriand Windisch-Grätz in 1846. Thereafter, it remained in the hands of the Windisch-Grätz family until 1945, when it was nationalized by Yugoslav authorities and turned into a museum.

Today, the castle is open to the public and serves as a museum. It has been completely restored to its original grandeur.

Castle interior - Predjama Castle
Castle interior - Predjama Castle. Photo by János Korom Dr

Erazem Medieaval Tournament

Every year in the summer, the Erazem Medieaval Tournament is organised and carried out according to documented historic facts from the 16th century. The two most important historic characters are knight Erasmus, who was the famous inhabitant of the castle and his friend, Andreas Baumkircher, who protected Vienna from the Turks in that time.This international medieval event involves bold knights – archers, swordsmen, and horsemen – who show off their skills. Merchants and craftsmen sell medieval products, flag throwers, belly dancers, magicians, puppet shows, musicians, and other performers display their talents and re-enact historical events. A peasant festivity known as ‘gauda’ is organised and tasty medieval food is prepared.

Getting there

Predjama Castle is located around 6 miles from Postojna Cave, and the two attractions combined add up to a quality day of sightseeing. There’s regular bus and train connection between the capital and Postojna. Postojna Cave is only a short walk from the station. Reaching Predjama Castle can be a bit tricky, if you don't have your own transport. There is no public transport services to the castle, so you can either walk or grab a taxi. The free of charge shuttle bus services between Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle is available in July and August for guests who buy a combined ticket for both attractions.

Predjama Grad
Predjama Grad. Photo by Elena Gabrielli


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Author: Ayda. Last updated: Aug 24, 2014

Pictures of Predjama Castle

Cave mouth of the Castle - Predjama Castle
Cave mouth of the Castle - Predjama Castle. Photo by János Korom Dr

Castle interior - Predjama Castle
Castle interior - Predjama Castle. Photo by János Korom Dr

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