It sounds a bit like the princess and the pea, but a castle in a cave.  Thats right.  This castle was built in a giant cave in the side of a hill.  I’d say this is a pretty impressive feat for being built in the late 12th or early 13th century.  At one point it was burned but then Erazem moved in, and this is where it gets really exciting.

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After killing a marshall in 1438 that happened to be related to the Austrian Emperor at the time, he fled to his castle.  As punishment, the Lord of Triest decided to try and starve Erazem, but he still managed to be getting food somehow.  If you notice the hole in the cave, the opening I suppose you could call it, this is where he would leave at night, climb out the back of it, to go get himself a midnight snack.  This is what he did for a year and a day.

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He had servant in the castle with him that was bribed by the soldiers guarding the castle below and was given specific instructions on how to help them.  The farthest little building to the left is the bathroom.  One night Erazem had to go do his business in there.  This is when the servant made his move and raised a flag in a window to signal he went into the bathroom.  Next thing you know, a canon ball, okay maybe just a boulder, was catapulted through the window and killed him.  This is the most famous story of Predjama Grad, and probably always will be.

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The castle is located right behind a village oh so affectionately named, you guessed it, Predjama.  They got pretty creative here, especially since “pred” means “in front of” and “jama” means “cave.”  So, Predjama Grad means the castle in front of the cave.  It is a nice little village with a great view of a cool castle.

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This was the view out from that hole at the top of the cavern.  This is also the way to Erazem’s secret passage he used out of the cave to go get his food.  It was a bit chilly in here, but it is a cave, so I could have prepared better for that.  bring a jacket if you come here.

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Another view of the village, but this was at the point I remembered the effects on my camera and had to try them out.  Legend also has it that if you ring this bell and make a wish, it will come true.  So, of course, I rang it.  How could you not want to?  The interior of the castle has been renovated quite a bit to look like it did during it’s prime time, so it looks pretty new in there which is kind of a bummer.  It would be interesting to see what it would look like with it’s original insides, but today, all worn and old.

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The best part was definitely at the top, seeing out of that hole and realizing, someone, a lot of people, actually lived here, in this cold cave castle.  If you like caves and/or castles this would be a good place for you.  The Postojna caves are also located here, making it convenient to see both places.  Unfortunately I missed the caves, but hey, that’s just another reason to go back!

How do you feel about castles and caves?  Have you been to Predjama?  What did you think of it?