Monday, June 7, 2010

Predjamski Castle

One of the most visited castles in Slovenia is the Predjamski Castle. The castle was integrated into a natural rock arch high in mountain.

The castle was first mentioned in year 1274, then named Luegg, when Aquileian patriarchs built the castle in gothic style. The castle was built under a natural rocky arch high in the stone wall to make access to it difficult. It was later annexed and re-shaped by family Luegg, also called Predjama knights. Erazem, who was the owner of the castle in 15th century, and a renowned robber, later joined king Matthias Corvinus, for which the current Emperor ordered Gašper Ravbar to assassinate him. After a long siege of the castle, Erazem was finally killed in 1483 by being tricked. The castle has fallen under Oberburg and Purgstall power.
In 1567 archduke Karel leased the castle to baron Philipp von Cobenzl, who bought off the castle after 20 years. He annexed the castle as early as 1570 and built a renaissance building, pressed next to a vertical cliff under the castle. The castle remained in such form until today. Count Michael Coronini von Cronberg inherited the castle in 1810 and it was property of family Windischgrätz from 1846 until the end of World War II. After the war it was nationalized and is now used as a museum for showing the life of medieval lords.
A secret natural shaft leads out of the castle, which Erazem ordered to be enlarged, and leads into Postojnska jama. This shaft allowed Erazem to secretly supply the castle with food in the time of the siege; he also used it to continue with his robberies.

Predjama Castle was used as the castle featured in the 1986 movie Armour of God by Golden Harvest starring Jackie Chan. It was also investigated for paranormal activity in a 2008 episode of Ghost Hunters International on the Sci Fi Channel.
Things to do...
  • Balista

This is not the ballista that killed Erasmus but a reconstructed model. Every year, at the end of August (we missed it by a week), there is a Medieval jousting tournament in front of the castle with costumed characters, etc more about the tournament

  • Coat of arm

On the front of the castle, the date of 1570 is painted. This is when the castle that we see today was rebuilt in Renaissance style by baron Philipp von Cobenzl.

The coat of arm of the Coblenz is painted on the front of the castle. It is divided in four quarters. The pair diagonally opposed bears a wild mountain goat while the other pair bears an eagle.

  • Predjamski Grad: interior

The visit of the castle is interesting. You can see see some rooms with ancient furnitures and paintings. In some rooms you can see manikins that help you to understand the life in that epoch. Very nice is the Pietas that you can see in the church. From the terrace on the fourth floor you can have a great view over the valley. An unicum in the visit is the Castle in the cave: here crossing a drawbridge you can see a cave which is also called Erazem's den.

On the facade of the castle you can see the coat of arms of the Windischgrätz family.

  • Dolls

There are many man-sized dolls in the castle, representing various occasions in life in castle.

  • Armoury

I was disappointed because of lack of weapons and armor there, however....

  • Cave

Under the Predjama Castle there’s also a nice cave. Every second person gets a torch light as there’s not electricity in the cave. It’s a complete different feeling do walk around in a cave with those torches, I loved it! Also in other caves you rarely can see bats as they avoid those illuminated parts, but here you could see lots of sleeping and flying bats. If you did lighten up a sleeping bat, it first started to turn, then the bat opened the eyes and suddenly flew around you! Very funny!

The guided tour takes 40 minutes, we had a tour in English.
Tours are at 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00, only from May to September.
Admission: 1100 SIT (Package of the castle and cave is 2000 SIT).

  • Pivka & Črna (Black) cave

This is a very nice cave which is part of the Postojna cave system. Actually this are two separate caves, but are visited together. It’s fortunately less touristy than the Postojna cave – we’ve been only four persons at the guided tour. So our tour could be in German, but the guide also spoke English. The cave is situated at a camping place. A nice camping place, by the way, with bungalows and a pool, situated in the forest with lots of place (and trees) between all the motor homes.

In the Pivka cave, you first go along the river Pivka, on a path that sometimes gets flooded. That’s why they only open in summer and do special tours at the other times if the situation permits. You’ll see some small halls with lots of nice dripstones. In the Black cave, all dripstones are black from soot, as formerly people went there with flambeaus and made fire inside the cave. Both caves are connected by a tunnel.

The guided tour takes about one and a half hours. 20 Minutes of this time are the way back to the camping as the exit is somewhere else.
Guided tours are at 9:00, 13:00 and 15:00 (May to September).
Admission: 1690 SIT (20% rabate with ‘Show your card’). Tickets at the camping reception.
  • Castle

Built into the cliff, in a beautiful valley this is a charming, picturesque, castle. Once you cross the bridge over the motte you feel like you went back 1000 years back in time. From within the castle you have great views of the valley and the river below.

See more images of the castle and the valley in the travelogue.

The castle is built above a cave which you can explore. A visit to the cave lasts 45 minutes.

Castle Time Table:

Jan-Mar, Nov-Dec: 10.00 - 16.00
Apr, Oct: 10.00 - 18.00
May-Sep: 9.00 - 19.00

Cave Time Table:

Jan-Apr: Closed
May-Sep: 11.00, 13.00, 15.00, 17.00
Oct-Dec: Closed

Phone: +386 / 5 / 751 60 15
Directions: Near the village of Predjama, a few km west of Postonja.
Website: (see link to castle on the left)
Other Contact:



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