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Visiting the world's largest cave castle - Predjama Castle, Slovenia

10 March 2019

image from Visiting the world's largest cave castle - Predjama Castle, Slovenia

After a disappointing visit to Postojna Cave, we hopped back on the motorcycle to head to Predjama Castle. Our timing was rather unfortunate, as the heavens opened up whilst we were en route and we got caught out in a heavy downpour and hail. Thankfully, the castle was only 15 minutes away and we managed to get there unscathed and quickly took shelter in a cafe next to the car park.

Once the storm had passed we walked over to the castle, picking up our free audio guide at the entrance. Normally I’m not a big fan of audio guides but I found this one to be helpful for learning more about the history of the castle.

“Predjamski Grad”, which means “the castle in front of the cave” in Slovenian, was built around the 12th century. The castle was owned by several aristocratic families, with the most famous owner being Erazem Lueger. He was a 15th-century robber-baron who, in the style of Robin Hood, stole from the rich to give to the poor.

Erazem was forced to barricade himself inside his castle after he killed Marshall Pappenheim, who had offended the honour of Erazem’s friend. Pappenheim was a relative of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III, who sent his forces after Erazem in vengance. Given the castle’s location inside the rock, it was impregnatable but they thought he wouldn’t last long inside before starving. They didn’t know about the existance of a secret tunnel between the castle and Postojna Cave. Erazem lasted a full year living inside the castle, using the tunnel to replenish supplies from a nearby town.

Erazem eventually met his downfall when he was betrayed by one of his own servents. One part of the castle that was susceptible to attack was the toilet (pictured in the photo below). While Erazem was attending to his private business, the servant raised a flag to signal to the soilders. All it took was a single shot from a cannon to finish him off.

If you have followed this blog for a while, you’ll know that I have visited my fair share of castles. But Predjama Castle was unlike any other castle I had visited before. It was fascinating to see how the man-made exterior walls of the castle melded together with the rock face and cave to create an impenetrable fortress. And the views from the top were pretty spectacular.

I was also happy that Predjama Castle has avoided selling its soul to mass tourism the way Postojna Cave has. There were only a small number of other visitors at the castle while we were there, and not a tour bus in sight!

Visitor Information

  • Predjama Castle is open every day of the year. Opening hours vary depending on the season so check their website for up-to-date information.
  • Entry to Predjama castle costs €13.80 in low season and €14.90 in high season.
  • There is a small car park close to the castle with free parking.
  • You can also purchase a combination ticket for Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle for €35.70. I would recommend skipping Postojna Cave though, and instead try to do a tour of the cave underneath Predjama Castle. Unfortunately I didn’t get time to do this but I wish we’d done that instead of visiting Postojna Cave. The cave underneath Predjama Castle is open for tours from May to September and takes around 45 minutes.
  • Using the audio guide it takes about an hour to visit Predjama Castle.
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