• Old part (Gothic age)
  • Newest wing (Romanticism)
  • Oldest part (well, duh :) )
    Erazem's Cave
  • Tournament grounds
  • Entrance to the stables and the huge cave system behind them
  • Outhouse - and Erazem's last stand
    (see description under the photo)
  • Lookout
    connected with the castle with a steep tunnel with stairs carved in stone
  • Battlement
  • Extended in Rennaisance

Predjamski

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Every castle in the world is unique in some way. No two are the same.

But this one - even though it's rather small and humble compared to some - is unique in more than one way. Probably the only one in the world, really integrated in a cave system - actually the second largest cave system in Slovenia.

It's located 9km from Postojna (where another cave is located - world-famous Postojnska jama - one of the largest in the world).

Its name Predjamski grad literally means Castle in Front of the Cave. And the village in front of it is also named Predjama.

This castle wasn't built in one go. First written records exist from 13th century, though the first part (left wing) was probably built in the first half of 12th century. Middle part was added in renaissance, and the right wing was build around 1570. Some things were added and changed later, but since 1990 renovation work is in progress, restoring it to the original 16th century look.

A medieval knight's tournament is held each summer in front of the castle and it's really worth a visit (though it's quite crowded then - as far as I heard).

Castle changed quite a few owners, but probably the best known was notorious rogue knight Erasmus Lueger, aka Erazem Predjamski. In 15th century, when he lived, only the first part of the castle existed. And it more resembled a robber's den than a castle. Wasn't very large or comfortable - but virtually impregnable.

Erazem was once a guest of Austrian emperor Friederich III. When one of emperor's friends (or relatives, as some sources state) insulted one of Erazem's good friends, Erazem drew the sword and killed him. For this, he was sentenced to death, but managed to escape and made it back to his stronghold.

Then he started attacking caravans, robbing whomever and whenever he seemed fit and generally acting as a major pain in emperor's behind. Therefore Triest's governor Ravbar was ordered to find and kill him.

Legend says that none of Ravbar's men knew where Erazem's stronghold was. So Erazem himself, cheeky as he was, put on a diguise and offered to lead them to it. Be as it may, as they found out the location, they laid the siege to the castle for months. When they froze their bums off in the middle of winter, Erazem mocked them and allegedly even catapulted a roasted ox from the castle and wished them good appetite. (Could be that the Monty Python crew borrowed this legend for their French Taunting sketch - or perhaps it's just a funny coincidence.)

When the next spring arrived, Erazem started to send them freshly picked cherries. Ravbar was thoroughly puzzled by this. There were rumours among his men, that there was a sort of paradise land in the caves behind the castle, that yields all sorts of crop throughout the year...

Little did they know, that there's a passage through the cave, which exits on the other side of the hill. Probably this passage and the elaborate cave system were the main reason why the castle was built there in the first place.

Though Ravbar received these fruity gifts from Erazem, the siege itself proved fruitless - until the summer of 1484, when Ravbar managed to bribe one of Erazem's servants. This servant told him, that though castle's walls can easily withstand cannon fire, the walls of the outhouse (see notes on the photo) are quite another matter. A well aimed cannonball could penetrate its wall and kill whomever is using it at the moment.

So, when Erazem was relieving himself, the servant gave Ravbar's men a signal and they fired at the outhouse. The cannonball passed right through and missed Erazem. But when it hit the back wall, an avalanche of rocks buried Erazem beneath it, ending his rebellion.

(That's the official version anyway. Another source (see here), states that he was killed by "sniper fire" through a window, after the treacherous servant placed the lamp so that it outlined Erasmus' silhouette in the window.)

Legend also says that Erazem is buried under a huge (and really weird looking) lime tree, beside the village church.

---
Best viewed large.
Here is the night view.
And here all my pix of this place.

Oh, and BTW: On May 7th, 2009 Oddee placed this castle third among
"10 Most Fascinating Castles and Palaces" in the world.
They even borrowed the first part of my text above in their description.
LOL I'm flattered! :-)
(And since they didn't ask for permission, nor quoted the source, I'm quite grateful they didn't "borrow" my photo as well.)

lawatha, jacki-dee, and 576 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. waydowc 64 months ago | reply

    dobra fotka! še bolj pa mi je všeč besedilo ki sledi saj tujcem lepo predstavi zgodovino naših lepih krajev. pozdrav s primorske :)

  2. Peleliu ♫ [deleted] 64 months ago | reply

    Hello~

    Fantastic variety of shots.

    Many people just focus on the

    outside of the Castle

    You showed it in it's entirety...

    very well written & captured.

    Thank you for sharing, Peleliu

  3. Jumpin'Jack 63 months ago | reply

    listentothemountains: Might prove a bit tricky to build it there though. Esp. with 14th century tech. :-)

    Me veseli, da ti je všeč waydowc :-)

    Thanks Peleliu. Much appreciated!

  4. Libertyexcelsius [deleted] 62 months ago | reply

    great info, wow it looks like something from lord of the rings!

  5. www.paolosmeraldi.com 59 months ago | reply

    Nice photo; this castle is really nice, as most of Slovenia

    View photo in gallery

  6. mybabyjp 58 months ago | reply

    I really love your picture and all details. I love all about castles and your notes are really importants ! maybe one day I could go there.
    Thank You !!

  7. dlmanrg 58 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Esgrima,Escrime,Fencing,Fechten,Šerm;Antígua,theatre., and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    Esta magnífica imagen ha sido vista en....
    Cette image a été vue magnifique ....
    This image has been magnificent view ...
    Dieses Bild wurde herrliche Aussicht ...
    Questa immagine è stata magnifica vista ...
    Tento obraz byl nádherný výhled ...

    Varios, macros
    Gracias,Merci,Thank you,Danke,Grazie,Děkujeme vám.
    Esgrima,Escrime,Fencing,Fechten,Šerm,Artistique,theatre.

  8. Tony Carlos Br 55 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Flickr Hive Mind, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    Search tag > Slovenia

    explore your tag in fiveprime org
    be among the top 50, add here

    icon
    his tag was found among the
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  9. jade19721 55 months ago | reply

    Very Interesting history on this castle. I could just imagine the looks on th faces of these people as a roasted ox came flying through the air at them.

  10. Jumpin'Jack 55 months ago | reply

    Thank you all very much again

    I still can't get it how come this photo got so popular. :-)

  11. rootcrop54 51 months ago | reply

    fascinating! it's hard to believe such beauty exists!

  12. JanusWolf 50 months ago | reply

    Just thought this would be interesting for all the people loving this castle and the story behind it:
    Being Slovenian I wa fascinated with the story of Erasmus for a verys long time, but some details struck me as odd. A few years ago I spoke to a Slovene novelist Sasa Vuga, an author of a novel about Erasmus, who told me what he believes is a true story behind this. I know that mr. Vuga is very good in researching so I believe his story a lot more then the old legend that is repeated in the tourist brochures. To me at least it is even more fascinating. Allow me to share it with you.

    Erasmus was never a robber knight. He was a son a former governor of the city of Triest and an achieved soldier, serving as a captain in the personal guard of the Austrian emperor.
    At that time the weak emperor was in war with the legendary king of Hungary, Mathias Corvin and it seemed he was loosing the war. Many people in the Austrian court supported Corvin, amongst them a good friend of Erasmus, a famous knight Andreas Baumkirchner. His plots against the emeror were discovered and Baumkirchner was executed. Erasmus did not take this well, but for a time remained in the emperor's service. However, when an autsrian court marshall, who was supposedly the one who betrayed Baumkirchner in the first place, spoke against the memory of his friend, Erasmus stroke him down.
    To this point the story is very simmilar to what the tourist guides will tell you, but the plot thickens. Erasmus did not go to the Predjama castle to hide, but he offered his sword to king Mathias Corvin. The castle was used as a fortress and an outpost for Hungarian raiders that wished to attack Triest. This answers the question that puzzeled me form the moment I heard the story for the first time, why didn't the robber knight escape trough his tunnels when the emperor's army came? It was of course because he was no robber at all, he was a true soldier holding the fortress for his king.
    The rest of the story is known, but the most famous parts of it, the idea of Erasmus meeting his death while sitting on the toilet is a fabrication. In the time of Erasmus, no such outhouse existed in the castle. Erasmus was, according to mr. Vuga, in his private office. When the tratior's well positioned lamp threw his shadow against the window, he was gunned down by the soliders. At that time, no heavy powder based artillery was in use, but they did use small "cannons", simmilar to muscettes. If this explanation is true, Erasmus was a very early victim of sniper fire :)
    Also it is sadly unlikely that the story about his taunting of the soldiers was exactly true. His adversaries were no fools and of course they knew that the castle had hidden passages, but it was impossible to find them. There were not enough men to surround the mountain. So if Erasmus was really throwing food out of the window, he was not really shockign the enemies, he was just demonstrating what they arleady knew, that his line of supplies was better.
    I hope I did not depress too many of you with this long story and that it might be interesting to history buffs such as me. It is not a story about a Slovene Robin Hood, as it is presented now. But it is a fascinating story about court intrigues, ingenious warfare and maybe even an important political assasination.

  13. Jumpin'Jack 49 months ago | reply

    Thanks for sharing your version of the story. I guess there are some other versions (beside yours and the "official" one) that exist as well.

    So it could well be Erasmus planned to held the castle for Mathias Corvin - the till the last man would be standing - like a good soldier.

    Perhaps that could even be consistent with the legend of King Mathias taking his last refuge inside the mountain - even though Predjama is a long way from Peca... :-)

    On the other hand - Erasmus could simply be (over)confident that he could have escaped anytime he wanted, should the going get too rough. So there was no need to leave the castle to attackers at the first sight of them.

    Be as it may, after all those centuries, we'll probably never know for sure.

    One thing is certain however: Erasmus surely was a fascinating figure and his castle is even more fascinating - today just as well as in the days of yonder.

  14. JenthePen 46 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Legend says..., and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  15. Ma'ja 45 months ago | reply

    Reklama za Predjamski grad : )

  16. Jumpin'Jack 45 months ago | reply

    Ha!

    Pravzaprav ja. Če guglaš (po slikah) Predjamski, dobiš ponavadi prav tole sliko na prvem ali drugem mestu, kar je definitivno boljša reklama od njihovih lastnih obskurnih web strani in prospektičev.

    Pa misliš, da jim je mar? Ko sem bil enkrat pozneje tam in sem jim to povedal, so me samo zabodeno gledali. Še na dodatni ogled me niso hotli spustit brez karte, kaj šele, da bi lahko fotkal votline pod gradom...

    Pa nič. Če butci ne razumejo, kaj pomeni zastonj promocija, pa naj jih vrag vzame.

  17. miradel 44 months ago | reply

    wow :) what a place :)

  18. SmurfSmurfy 36 months ago | reply

    I wonder if it's damp in winter?

  19. Jumpin'Jack 36 months ago | reply

    Thanks Miradel

    Smurf: Does this answer your question? :-)

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