Predjama Castle

Predjama castle (Predjamski grad) is a picturesque castle in a small village of Predjama, near Postojna in Slovenia. It was built high up in a vertical cliff, above river Lokva, at the entrance of a underground cave system and is considered to be the largest cave castle in the world.

Predjama castle

When my husband suggested to visit Predjama castle during our visit of Slovenia in November, I said yes without hesitation.

Predjama castle is the largest cave castle in the world.

After our arrival in Predjama, we parked our car at the small parking space and walked short distance to the Predjama castle. What an amazing sight it was! Although the castle was a bit smaller than in my imagination, was no less impressive.

The entrance

The first written document mentioning the Predjama castle dates back to 13th century. Since then the castle lived through history as a safe sanctuary and residence for different noble families until the end of Wold War II when it was nationalised by the authorities and turned into a museum.

Back in the days, when the castle still protected its inhabitants from the enemy, there were no buildings and trees in the area around the castle. Bare land allowed inhabitants to spot the enemy faster.

After paying an admission fee of 11,90 €, we received audio guide and were allowed to enter the castle. There is not a whole lot to see on the inside, but is still worth entering just to see how cleverly the medieval man used the natural resources to built this safe sanctuary. It’s impressive you can not really distinguish where the manmade walls and walls made by nature met.

The natural cave was implemented to the castle to serve as a dungeon

Most of the displays in the castle are reconstructing everyday life with a man-size dummies. It’s very decent old-school display that might not appeal to some of the visitors, but it still gives you a some sense of the everyday life in castle.

Display of every day life at the castle’s dining room

There are very few objects from the history of the castle put to display, but that don’t affect the visitor experience. The lack of objects is in my opinion successfully replaced with the self-paced audio tour with a head set. The set is easy to operate. I’ve listened narration in Slovenian language which is short and to the point and provides visitors with all the necessary information about the castle, its architectural features, history, legends and most famous inhabitants. Listening the tour was very interesting. I felt it brought the castle life.

The audio guide is included in ticket price and is available in many languages: Slovene, Croatian, English, German, Italian, Hungarian, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese and Korean language.

Especially interesting part of audio guide is the legend of the knight Erazem of Predjama – most famous of all Predjama castle inhabitants. Erazem was the robber baron who lived in 15th century. He was such an interesting figure, his life story inspired a legend celebrating him on one hand as a handsome, noble knight, and on the other hand as a bandit.

Predjama castle

The legend of Erazem has it, Erazem got into a conflict with the ruling Habsburg family. When fleeing from their rage, he found sanctuary in Predjama castle. He, his men and family were able to withstood the long siege by receiving food and other supplies through a secret natural cave tunnel to a nearby village of Vipava.

The cave behind the castle with the secret tunnel

Vipava valley is famous for growing cherries. The legend has it, Erazem taunted the attackers by pelting them with fresh cherries from Vipava. The cherries nearby the castle weren’t yet ripped. The attacking solders could not understand how he was obtaining supplies. As far as they knew, there was only one way in and out of both the valley and castle. The rumour of the supernatural devilish forces helping Erazem spread around the attacking camp.

Different events as reenactment of the Legend of Erazem, medieval fair and jousting tournament occasionally takes place at Predjama castle

The siege continued until the besiegers bribed one of Erazem’s servants. When his master was at the most vulnerable place of the castle – at the toilet situated on the top floor and the very edge of the castle, the servant signalled to the besiegers to fire a cannon. A single cannonball killed Erazem. The siege was soon over, but the legend of this rebellious knight lives on.

The window

Legend has it, Erazem was buried by the church of St Mary of Sorrows in near proximity to Predjama castle. His lady had planted lime tree on his grave as a symbol of eternal life. Despite the tree was badly damaged in a set fire in 2001, it is still there there, living and keeping Erazem’s memory alive.

Erazem’s lime tree

There is a nice restaurant right across from the castle. On a nice day you can sit outside, have a drink or a meal while enjoying the castle view. We did just that. The view was amazing and the food was decent. I had Wiener schnitzel with roasted potatoes which were not the best I ever had, but still good enough for me to enjoy my lunch.

A lunch with a view

Predjama castle is a must to add to your list of things to see in Slovenia.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

How to get to Predjama: 

  • By car:  At A1 highway take the Postojna exit and follow the signs for Predjama castle.
    Free parking spaces are available.

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I’m linking this post up to #MondayEscapes with Packing My Suitcase and My Travel Monkey.

 

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29 thoughts on “Predjama Castle

  1. Clunegapyears says:

    Also visited and loved the story about Ezazem. Very limited parking there, although we were early so got a space for our motorhome … a tight turn though. There is a shuttle bus that runs from the Postojna Caves, which may be easier for some visitors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Urska says:

      You’re right, the parking space is very small, but when I was there it was almost empty. The reason is probably because it was off season. I’m sure it could be packed during the high season. The shuttle bus from Postojna could be a better option for some visitors, I agree. I think its even free, if you buy combined ticket for Predjama castle and Postojna cave.

      Like

    • Urska says:

      Hi Mark! It is indeed fascinating. I was impressed by the how well they integrated natural resources to build this castle. It is indeed is something special. Definitely a place to see, when in Slovenia. 🙂

      Like

    • Urska says:

      I had to google Tyniec Monastery and looks like a place I would love to visit. 🙂 It reminds me more of Bled castle (another castle in Slovenia) than Predjama castle. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Global Locavore says:

    What a cool site to visit! I love castles especially when an audio guide is included. I’m such a nerd, but they have so many interesting facts! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vlad says:

    It looks so beautiful, I’d love to visit it when I get to Slovenia (hopefully soon, I’ve heard nothing but good things about your country) 😀 #MondayEscapes

    Liked by 1 person

    • Urska @ Slovenian Girl Abroad says:

      It is definitely one of the places you should consider visiting, when you’ll get the chance to come to Slovenia. 🙂

      Like

    • Urska @ Slovenian Girl Abroad says:

      I definitely wouldn’t want to be held captive in those dungeons! Thanks for hosting the #MondayEscapes linkup! 🙂

      Like

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