Predjama Castle (Predjamski grad)

Predjama Castle (Predjamski grad)


Location: 11 km from Postojna Map

Constructed: 13th century

Tel.(5) 751 6015

Open: May-Sep 9am - 7pm Apr & Oct 10:am - 6pm Nov-Mar 10am - 4pm


History of Predjama Castle

Predjama Castle  Predjama Castle

Predjama Castle is a medieval citadel situated on a 123 meter high cliff 11 km from Postojna in South- West Slovenia. Predjama Castle was constructed in 13th century at the entrance of the cave by the Patriarch of Aquileia. It was later acquired by the Lueger or Luegger family that were also known as Knights of Adelsberg. Its most famous resident was knight Erazem Lueger. He became famous as a robber baron. He made his living by assaulting trading caravans and retreated to his fortress with stolen loot. His fortunate changed however. Apparently Habsburg servant Imperial army Marshall Pappencheim insulted young noble by insulting his dead friend, Andrej Baumkircher of Vipava. Erazem Lueger killed Marshall and was forced to flee rage of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III into his Predjama Castle. Imperial army under leadership of Governor of Trieste, Andrej Ravbar besieged the fortress, but cave system behind the citadel allowed defenders to supply the garrison from nearby village of Vipava. Erazem felt safe in his fortifications and even threw cherries from the walls and towers. Eventually aristocrat fell pray to betrayal. One of his servants agreed to put out a flag once castle's owner would go to a washroom. The toilet was hanging from the side of the tower and it was the most vulnerable part of the fort. A single shot from a enemy cannon took off the toilet where Erazem was sitting killing him instantly.

Predjama Castle was largely reconstructed in the 16th century. About the same time a treasure chest was buried in the cellar of the fortress. It was rediscovered only in 1991. The cave behind the castle known as a Predjama Cave is an extensive underground system with a total length of over 6 km, although only about 900 meters are open to the public. In the past it was used by the owners of the castle to store loot and valuable riches.


The history of the castle
The castle was first mentioned in 1274 when the original Gothic- shaped Luegg Castle was built by the Aquileian Patriarchs . Under a natural rock vault high in the wall, a giant inaccessible castle was built in a giant hollow, which was later built and transformed by the Luegg family, also known as the Predjama Knights. The Luegers, as they were called, were the princely feudal lords and knights of Predjama. Erazem Predjamski later joined King Matthias Corvinus , prompting the then Austrian emperor to command the Baron of Trieste, Baron Gasper subdue the robber knight Erasmus. After a long siege of Predjama Castle, Erasmus was killed in 1484 with the help of cunning. Because they could not beat him otherwise, they bribed one of his men to betray him. He lit a candle in the window of Erasmus's room, and this led the Trieste shooters who filled it with stone bullets. Because they wanted to kill Erasmus as a historical figure, they blew the story of a robber knight who died on the toilet. In fact, at that time the castle was located only in the upper part of the castle, called Jama or Luegg Castle, and there was no front extension with a toilet at that time. The castle then fell under the rule of the Oberburgs and the Purgstallers.

In 1567, Archduke Karel was leased to Baron John Cobenzl , who bought the castle twenty years later. As early as 1570, the castle was rebuilt and remodeled and a Renaissance building erected against a vertical wall below the cave castle. The castle has remained in this form to this day. In 1810 Predjama was inherited by Count Michael Coronini-Cronberg , and from 1846 until the end of World War II the castle was owned by the Windischgrätz family . After the war, the castle was nationalized, and it houses a museum that is still open today, showing medieval peasants' life and archeologicala collection of objects found in pre-Roman underground systems that testify to the presence of man since the Neolithic . There are also exhibits of castle owners, weapons , furniture and hunting trophies.

During the national liberation struggle , a court and a partisan printing press were in the castle. Here, on 30 August 1944, it was formed from some units of the 31st Division of the Jesenice-Bohinj Detachment , which subsequently operated in the Gorenjska region until the end of the war.


Predjama Castle  Predjama Castle

Predjama Castle