Predjama Castle (Slovene: Predjamski Grad or Grad Predjama, German: Höhlenburg Lueg, Italian: Castel Lueghi) is a Renaissance castle built within a cave mouth in southwestern Slovenia. It is located approximately 11 kilometres on north west of the town Postojna.
Predjama Castle was probably built in the 12th century but was first mentioned in the year 1274 with the German name Luegg. It was built in an area that was controlled by the town of Aquilea but was contested by the Counts of Gorizia. The castle was built under a natural rocky arch high in the stone wall to make access to it difficult. In those times the castle was called Jama Castle (Jama translates to cave).It was later acquired and expanded by the Luegg noble family, also known as the Knights of Adelsberg (the German name of Postojna).
In 1350 the castle was taken by Austrian dukes. In 1398 Aquilean troops sieged and set fire to the castle. Later on knights from the East-Tyrolean city of Lienz became owners of the castle, which they called Luegg Castle. So they called themselves Lords of Lienz and Luegg.
In 1478 the castle became the property of the knight Erazem. He was probably the most famous inhabitant of Predjama Castle. In 1478 the castle became the property of the Knight Erazem Lueger (or Luegger). He was probably the most famous inhabitant of Predjama Castle. He was the son of the Imperial Governor of Trieste, Nikolaj Lueger. In 1483 Erazem came into conflict with the Habsburg establishment, when he killed the commander of the Imperial army Marshall Pappencheim, who had offended the honour of Erazem's deceased friend, Andrej Baumkircher of Vipava. Fleeing from the revenge of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III, Erazem settled in the family fortress of Predjama. He allied himself with the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus and began to attack Habsburg estates and towns in Carniola.
The Imperial forces sent the Governor of Trieste, Andrej Ravbar, to siege the castle. Ravbar tried to starve Erazem to death but was surprised to notice that Erasmus seemed to have an unlimited supply of fresh food. Finally Erasmus was killed by a cannonball. Later it became known that Erasmus had gotten his food through a secret passage through the caves.
|Attribution: Luca Giarelli, License|
In the 18th century, it became one of the favourite summer residences of the Cobenzl noble family. Both the Austrian statesman Philipp von Cobenzl and the diplomat Count Ludwig von Cobenzl spent time in the castle.
In 1810, the castle was inherited by Count Michael Coronini von Cronberg, and in 1846 it was sold to the Windischgrätz family, who remained its owners until the end of World War II, when it was nationalized by the Yugoslav Communist authorities and turned into a museum.
Predjama Castle was used as the castle featured in the 1986 movie Armour of God (film) by Golden Harvest starring Jackie Chan, Alan Tam, Rosamund Kwan and Lola Forner. It was also investigated for paranormal activity in a 2008 episode of Ghost Hunters International on the Sci Fi Channel.
In the preparation of this article, were mainly used materials and photos of websites: www.wikipedia.org and www.castles.nl