What the castle? What the cave! This hybrid medieval castle is an extraordinary destination about 60 km from Ljubljana and 50 km from Trieste (Italy).
Predjama Castle has witnessed a turbulent history: The first castle was built in the 13th century by the Patriarch of Aquileia. It was placed directly into a rock high up the grounds, melting with the caves behind and providing lots of safety (yet zero convenience) for its inhabitants. Later the Luegg noble family (Slovene: Postojna, German: Adelsberg) acquired and expanded the castle. The most famous owner was robber baron Erazem Predjamski – a “Robin Hood” figure – who lived here in the 15th century and fueled some great stories. The legend says he withstood the siege of the imperial army of the Habsburgs for over one year before he died under rather unheroic circumstances which also lead to the destruction of the better part of the castle. After this unfortunate ending of a thrilling episode the ruins were acquired by the Oberburg family and a second castle was built by the Purgstall family in the first decade of the 16th century.
Sadly, Slovene castles share one fact: Most of them were destroyed by the major earthquake of 1511. This was also the case with Predjama Castle. Therefore it was rebuilt in 1570 in a Renaissance style by the Cobenzl family – whose members used it as their summer residence and hunting lodge. The castle has maintained its form to the present day.
Predjama Castle has been used as a filming venue for several movies such as Zorikan (1964), Madamigella di Maupin (1966), Armour of God (1986, starring Jackie Chan) and Bhai (2013) as well as numerous documentaries.
Here are the key facts:
Official Name: Predjamski Grad (Slovene) / Predjama Castle, Postojna Cave Castle (English)
Status: Museum, can be visited on its own or combined with Postojna Cave (containing the world’s first underground railway providing a 3.7-km-long journey)
Opening Hours: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. or shorter
Guide: Audio Tour in 17 languages* which takes just over one hour
Prices: Around 14 Euros
Parking: For free in front of the castle area. Castle is also accessible via free shuttle bus from Postojna Cave in July and August.
Next City: Bukovje / Gorenje, around 11 km from Postojna
Restaurants: Restaurant & café in front of the castle with a fantastic view
First Mentioning: 1274
Architectural Style: Renaissance, originally Gothic
*Slovenian, Croatian, English, German, Italian, French, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese and Korean
Scary Fact: The Discovery Channel team found some unexplainable activities in the torture chamber – and you will find it ghostly, too.