Places have caves to visit and then other places have castles. Ever heard of a cave castle? Yes, they do exist. The Predjama castle, built at the mouth of a cave near the village of Predjama has a cave behind it and one under it.
The trip to Predjama castle is often added in tour programmes along with the famous Postojna caves when operating tours from Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital. However, it is quite easy to visit the castle on your own. There are regular buses and trains to Postojna from Ljubljana. In Postojna, there are shuttles to Predjama castle during the peak season and taxis can be used to visit the castle during the off-peak seasons.
The castle is quite famous because of the legend of Erazem or Erasmus who was a robber baron. He got into conflict with a Roman Emperor and took refuge in the castle.
The army could not attack the castle because of it’s location and laid siege to the castle to try to starve Erazem. However, even after laying siege for months, they could not get Erazem to surrender.
It so happened that there was a natural passage in the castle which led to the top of the cliff and could be used as a way to get in and out of the castle without the notice of the army. Erazem used this passage to get supplies for himself and it is believed that he also used it to continue his robberies.
After resisting the siege for long, Erazem was betrayed by one of his servants who was bribed to signal the army when Erazem was within the reach of their cannons. The servant used a light to signal the army and Erazem was killed by a cannon shot.
The cave under the castle is closed to visitors during the winter as it is the hibernation spot for a colony of bats. During summer, visitors are allowed to access a certain part of the cave with flashlights as there are no light installations in the cave.
The castle was damaged multiple times due to wars and earthquakes and has been rebuilt as the one which can be seen now.
We spend two nights in Postojna which allowed us to explore the place at our own pace. If you have the time, it is highly recommended to visit this wonder.