Due to its size, Slovenia does not have too many castles. Although the country lags behind Austria or Slovakia in numbers, there are some really special castles. Such is the case of Predjama Castle, which is now being presented. The main special feature is that the castle was literally built on the side of a cliff above the Postojna Cave.
The castle was deliberately built into a natural rock wall sometime in the 13th century to make it more difficult for the enemy to reach.
Map - Where is Predjama Castle?
You can find the castle so close to Cave Postojna that you can visit the two sights with a combined ticket. The castle is located approx. 10 km from the cave.
If you are visiting the Slovenian coast, you can visit the castle and the cave as part of a half-day program.
- Address: Predjama 1, 6230 Predjama, Slovenia
- Distance to Postojna Cave: 10 minutes / 9 km
- Distance from Ljubljana: 45 minutes / 60 km
- Distance from Bled: 2.5 hours / 150 km
- Distance to the Slovenian coast: 1 hour / 74 km
History of the castle
The castle was first mentioned in official sources in 1274 - although it was still referred to in German as Lueg. The building was built in the 12th century in Gothic style - by the Italian Episcopal Order.
The knights of Adelsberg (the German name for Postojna) later grabbed the castle and expanded it. Later, unfortunately, as a result of a siege, the original buildings were destroyed and the castle fell into the hands of the Oberburg family.
In 1511, the second castle, built by the Purgstall family in the early 16th century, was destroyed by an earthquake. In 1567, Charles, Archduke of Austria, leased the castle to Baron Philipp von Cobenzl, who rented the buildings from him for 20 years.
The castle, which can still be seen today, was rebuilt in Renaissance style in 1570 and erected at the foot of a vertical rock wall to strengthen the medieval buildings. After that, the look of the castle has not changed much - you can still see it in this condition today.
The castle was inherited by Count Michael Coronini von Cronberg in 1810 and bought by the Windischgrätz family in 1846. After World War II, it was confiscated by the Yugoslav Communists and turned into a museum after nationalization.
Legend: Erasmus von Lueg
Erasmus von Lueg was the owner of the castle in the 15th century and was a rather divisive figure historically.
According to the legend, Erasmus ended a duel with a famous marshal in 1482 just because it allegedly offended a friend. So a war broke out between them. During the war, Predjama Castle was the most significant and perhaps the only main military base of the Knight of Erasmus. From there he carried out the attacks and retreated here.
He also cooperated with the Hungarian King Matthias and for this reason many Hungarians knew him. In Krajna, Habsburg cities were attacked alongside the Hungarian ruler.
III. Frederick, a German-Roman emperor, sent troops to besiege Predjama Castle and tried to starve Erasmus because the castle proved impractical due to its peculiar architectural design.
The tunnel system was used at that time, as it provided food and drink to Erasmus, who was trapped in the castle. The long siege ended, however, only with the death of Erasmus, because in 1484, according to an unconfirmed source, Erasmus was betrayed by a man and the knight was shot down in the castle with a cannon.
About the castle
The castle is open to the public and you can also see numerous original relics within the walls. You can use them to feel the atmosphere of the Middle Ages.
The castle consists of an interior community area, a kitchen, a chapel, a prison and a torture room.
From the upper attic you can see an imposing view of the surrounding valleys and can see countless medieval weapons. Shields, spears, halberds, swords, hammers, bows and crossbows are also waiting for you!
The name of the medieval castle of Predjama reveals that the castle is located in front of a hole, as the word “jam” means a hole in the Slavic languages. The hole behind the castle, on the other hand, is the most significant cave in Slovenia with its gigantic dimensions.
For Slovenes, the castle is a symbol of independence, originality and perseverance.
The castle was somewhat renovated in 1990, at which time an attempt was made to restore the appearance that the castle boasted around 1583. The castle currently has the status of a national museum in Slovenia.
The Armor of the Gods movie, presented in 1986 and written and directed by Jackie Chan, also plays in Predjama Castle.
In 1997, the famous Soviet scientist and TV personality Yuri Senkevich made a documentary about the castle.
Tour of Predjama Castle
The castle has guided tours in English, German and Slovenian, which take approximately 1 hour.
The "audio-guide" in 17 languages is included in the price of the ticket and is currently available in Slovenian, Croatian, English, German, Italian, French, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
- Duration: 1 hour (1.5 hours with children)
- Bus service from the Postojna Cave: in summer, travel time approx. 20 minutes
From the Postojna Cave in July and August you can take a shuttle bus to the castle and it takes 20 minutes.
The castle operators are also developing a mobile app to help you find out more about the building.
Visitors can also visit the Erasmus Tunnel, which was used when the castle was under siege. You can descend into these mysterious depths and the interesting legends are told here by the guides.
It is worth seeing the Erasmus tournaments in July. Locals dress in traditional clothes and fight each other in a medieval style.
Predjama Castle is open every day, but the daily opening hours vary from season to season.
In the winter months, the opening hours are much shorter than in the summer. The high season is during the school holidays in July and August.
- Winter: (Nov - March): 10:00 - 16:00
- Pre- and post-season (Apr, Oct): 10:00 - 17:00
- Summer season (May, June, Sept): 09:00 - 18:00
- High season (July, Aug): 09:00 - 19:00
Tickets, admission and prices
Admission costs € 13.80 for adults. You can buy tickets in advance online on the website. Of course, you can also buy a ticket on the spot.
- Adult ticket: 13.80 euros
- Student ticket: 11 euros
- Come ticket: 8.30 euros
The world of Postojna-Predjama is an ideal program for young and older alike. The castle is more recommended for those who love history and knights, and the cave for those who are more interested in nature and the underground world.
Luckily, the two are close enough, so if you’re already in the area, feel free to combine the two attractions.
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