If you enjoy visiting caves and you like visiting castles, you will love Predjama Castle, the world’s largest cave castle.
This incredible renaissance castle is more than 800 years old, although there’s evidence that humans actually inhabited this cave from as early as the Stone Age.
The Slovenian name for Predjama Castle is Predjamski Grad, which means “the castle in front of the cave.” Sounds more romantic when said in Slovenian, though! And yes, indeed, the castle is in front of the cave. It’s built in the mouth of the cave, halfway up a 123-metre cliff. Impressive, huh?
When Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin visited Predjama Castle in 2011 he said, “Definitely have to model some castle in Westeros on this one, it was an eyefull, especially by night.” We weren’t able to get a personal tour at night, but we could easily see how Predjama Castle could fit into a fantasy production like Game of Thrones.
Today Predjama Castle is A Museum
Predjama Castle has been completely restored to its former glory. There is a fascinating exhibition about what life was like inside the castle. You’ll also find a small chapel just by the torture chamber, and a room filled with replicas of various weapons such as swords, and spears. Inside the weapons hall, there is the museum shop which I very much doubt was there 800 years ago!
Wandering around the castle, it was sometimes hard to tell where the castle ended, and the cave began, as in some parts of the castle, the karst rock was also the wall. This is why the temperature inside the castle is usually a tad chillier than other castles. It’s a good idea to bring a fleece with you.
Predjama Castle’s Most Notorious Knight, Erazem of Predjama – A Slovenian Robin Hood
Just like the legendary Robin Hood, Erazem supposedly stole from the rich to give to the poor.
In 1478, Erazem Lueger inherited the Predjama Castle.
During this time, he came into conflict with the Habsburg’s family, one of the most distinguished and influential royal families of Europe of the time. Erazem had killed Pappenheim, the commander of Vienna’s imperial army, who had offended the honour of Andrej Baumkircher of Vipava, Erazem’s recently deceased friend.
Unfortunately for Erazem, Pappenheim had influential relatives, which included the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. This forced Erazem to flee and barricade himself inside his castle at Predjama.
The Emperor sent Gaspar Ravbar, the governor of Trieste, to lay siege to Predjama Castle. However, due to the location of Predjama Castle, it was difficult to attack. It was decided the only way to defeat Erazem was to starve him and his men out of the castle.
However, the siege lasted a year as food was being smuggled into the castle via hidden passages within the cave.
Eventually, Poor Erazem’s Luck Ran Out
Although the castle seemed impenetrable, there was a weak spot – Erazem’s toilet! Gaspar Ravbar bribed a servant who lit a candle to signal when Erazem was in the toilet.
A canon was fired – Erazem did not survive.
Did You Know?
Predjama Castle has appeared in many documentaries and movies. The most well-known being the Armour of God starring Jackie Chan and the reality series Ghost Hunters International.
Opening Hours For Visiting Predjama Castle
January, February, March, November, December 10 am to 4 pm.
April, October 10 am to 5 pm.
May, June, September 9 am to 6 pm.
July, August 9 am to 7 pm.
How Much Does It Cost To Visit Predjama Castle?
- Adult 13,80
- Children €8,30
- Children under 5 €1
The price of your ticket includes an audio guide. It was one of the best audio guides we have ever experienced – precise, informative and no unnecessary waffle. The audio guide is available in 15 languages.
Prices and packages vary a little depending on the season. For up to date ticket prices, please check here https://www.postojnska-jama.eu/en/tickets/predjama-castle/
How To Get To Predjama Castle
By Public Transport
It’s a little tricky to get to Predjama Castle by public transport. The nearest train station is Postojna. From there you can walk, take a shuttle bus or taxi to Postojna Cave Park.
We didn’t visit these particular caves, preferring to visit Škocjan Caves instead, but many people combine a trip here with the castle. During the summertime, there’s a free shuttle service from the Postojna Cave Park entrance to Predjama Castle. When the shuttle bus is not running, taxis are available. It’s around nine kilometres from the entrance of Postojna Cave to Predjama.
Or you can bypass the cave park and take a bus from Postojna Station to Predjama but will have to change buses in Žaga-Belsko.
With your own car, it’s easy to get to the castle. It’s just over an hour from Ljubljana.
Many tours are available to Predjama Castle. We travelled there with the fabulous Mateja from mateja-travel.com.
Disclaimer: We explored Slovenia as guests of Mateja Travel mateja-travel.com. However, all opinions are entirely and genuinely our own. We wouldn’t recommend anything that we hadn’t enjoyed and experienced firsthand.