Predjama Castle in central Slovenia is more than something outside Game of Thrones or the Ghibli studio film as something in the real world. Built into the steep wall of the cliff, it seems to float – or at least on the edge of the slide into the valley below.
Predjama, built in the 13th century, has become one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Its current façade dates from the 1580s, and behind it you will find a castle with kitchens, bedrooms, armory, dungeons and secret tunnels. It is best known for the fact that it was once inhabited by a knight named Erazem Lueger, a brave and rebellious guy who – according to legend – died on the toilet in the middle of the siege.
So why build a castle in a cave? Well, for starters, it has a lot of natural secret tunnels. It is also quite invincible as a military fortress, as it is quite high and also has its own natural shelter. Invincible, that is, if you fail to die on the crapper.
Predjama was converted into a museum after the castle was occupied by the Yugoslav authorities after the Second World War. Today, it’s a pretty magical museum, full of all your usual medieval museum stuff (restored kitchen and armory, and lots of creepy puppets). And it’s not just the old cool cave castle. According to the Guinness Book of Records, this is the largest cave castle in the world.
In other words, this is the perfect place to live out your medieval fairytale fantasies. And even if it’s not your species, you can go on adventure trips through the cave below the castle, where a colony of bats lives and is part of the 14 km long Predjama Cave System.
The castle is about an hour’s drive from Ljubljana and is open all year round, tickets for adults from € 11.90 (€ 9.90, $ 13.50). Tours of the cave, meanwhile, run from May to September and start at € 24 ($ 20.27). See Predjama website for more information.
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