Predjama Castle, Slovenia

Castles. Forts. Citadels. Strongholds. Fortresses.

I’m a peaceful Giraffeses, but I’m still fascinated by all forms of fortification, no matter what name they go by. From prehistoric hill forts to Roman walled towns. From medieval castles to Napoleonic citadels. You name it, I want to explore it!

This summer alone, during my trip to Europe, I visited at least nine castles I’d never been to before. I even have what I call castle rules, which require you to go inside every room possible, no matter how small.

So you can imagine that for a castle to jump straight into my top three favourites is no mean feat. But that’s exactly what happened during my travels through Slovenia in July.

IMG_2552Predjama is a small village about 40 miles south of the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. There’s been a castle there since at least 1274. The current one is the third to occupy the site and was built in 1570.

IMG_2549But what makes Predjama Castle (not Pyjama Castle, as my brother, Bisckits, insists on calling it) particularly special is its location. I mean, how many strongholds are built into the mouth of a cave halfway up a karstic limestone cliff that’s 400 feet tall.

IMG_2553IMG_2557

180⁰ panorama taken beside the castle's drawbridge

180⁰ panorama taken beside the castle’s drawbridge

View down the valley from Predjama Castle

View down the valley from Predjama Castle

As you explore the castle, it’s often hard decide whether you’re inside or outside. Some rooms are exactly what you’d expect from a building that’s over 400 years old.

IMG_2563But in others, some of the walls are formed by the bare rock of the cave and cliff.

IMG_2562And occasionally, there are no artificial walls at all!

Inside or outside?

Inside or outside?

Legend states that Predjama Castle’s unusual positioning came in particularly handy in 1483, when its owner, a robber baron called Erazem, got himself into hot water with a whole bunch of powerful people. With the castle proving virtually impregnable, his enemies were forced to lay siege to it, in an attempt to starve Erazem out.

IMG_2566Unbeknownst to the attackers, however, the caves behind the castle have an exit near a neighbouring village. This enabled the defenders to obtain fresh food, with which Erazem taunted his enemies.

The siege lasted over a year. It finally ended, so the tale goes, when Erazem was betrayed by a servant. He was killed by a well-aimed cannonball while visiting the smallest room in the castle, if you get my drift.

What's behind that wall?...

What’s behind that wall?…

...The Erasmus Cave!

…The Erasmus Cave!

Yet the secret passage through the caves has been a double edged sword for Predjama Castle. While it may have kept the defenders fed during the 15th Century siege, in the 17th Century, robbers used it to sneak into the stronghold.

IMG_2592This post was inspired by the themes Buildings from Cee (of Cee’s Photography) and Hole from Sue (of A Word In Your Ear).

If you’re as taken with castles as I am, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in Adventure, Europe, History, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Predjama Castle, Slovenia

  1. frizztext says:

    that castle is fascinating, I wrote about that too:
    http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/lesson-for-modern-architecture/
    there’s a link to you now…

  2. Max510 says:

    Wonderfuò place Predjama.
    I never been there but next time that I’ll come in Slovenia… 😉

  3. Amy says:

    “the walls are formed by the bare rock of the cave and cliff”, that is so fascinating! These are great photos of the castle that tell stories. Thank you Jaspa!

  4. Cee Neuner says:

    I keep looking at these photos. They are so totally wonderful for this week’s challenge. 🙂

  5. Sue says:

    Thank for the mini history tour along with wonderful photos! I love learning about old world history and castles fascinate me too. Your story about Erazem’s betrayal reminds me of a chapter from Game of Thrones where a fictional king also met his fate on the “throne”!

  6. Pingback: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Buildings | Nola Roots, Texas Heart

  7. jpeggytaylor says:

    What a fantastic castle! It’s defensive position potential really was well-spotted by someone back in those early centuries. Thanks for the history lesson, Jaspa – fascinating 🙂

  8. Neha Jain says:

    Fantastic Post, and such a cool castle. I wish I could see it with my eyes some day. But for now the pictures did great justice. Thanks for sharing.

  9. restlessjo says:

    That’s some castle! I’ve seen a few in my time but you’re right- it’s a winner 🙂

  10. Pingback: A Word a Week Photography Challenge–Hole | WoollyMuses

  11. Pingback: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: The Color Blue | Cee's Photography

  12. Cee Neuner says:

    Congratulations! I have selected your post to be featured on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.
    http://ceenphotography.com/2014/09/23/cees-fun-foto-challenge-the-color-blue/

  13. treerabold says:

    Amazing photographs and space!

  14. Great photos and a great narrative. I assume he was killed in the toilet? The smallest room in the castle? What a way to go! If you catch my drift.

  15. Wonderful photos about a most amazing castle! Love this! 🙂

  16. Swoosieque says:

    I’ve never had the opportunity to visit an old castle, this one would definitely be at the top of my bucket list! Wonderful photos! 😀

  17. Pingback: Cee’s Weekly Wrap Up – September 27, 2014 and some favorite photos | Cee's Photography

  18. These old castles are truly fascinating…this one reminds me of that huge (Burmese?) Buddhist monastery that’s built high up on a rock mountain. I believe Greece has a similarly precipitously located castle structure. How were these structures built so many centuries ago (I’m afraid to even ask how many of the workers lost their lives…).

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