Predjama Castle, Slovenia
For more than 700 years, Predjama Castle has perched proudly on its 123-meter cliff. The castle is a Renaissance castle built within a cave mouth in south-central Slovenia, in the historical region of Carniola. The castle was first mentioned in the year 1274 with the German name Luegg, when the Patriarch of Aquileia built the castle in Gothic style. The castle was constructed under a natural rock arch high into the stone wall to make access difficult.
The castle’s most famous resident was Knight Erazem Lueger, owner of the castle in 15th century and a renowned robber baron. According to legend, Erazem came into conflict with the Habsburg establishment, when he killed the commander of the Imperial army who had offended the honor of Erazem’s deceased friend. Erazem settled in the family fortress of Predjama Castle. He allied himself with the Hungarian king and began to attack Habsburg estates and towns in Carniola.
Erazem rebelled against the Austrian emperor Fredrick III and eventually killed his kinsman. Thus enraged, the Austrian leader commissioned the governor of Trieste to capture and kill Erazem.
For a year and a day, Erazem was besieged in his fortress. But, much to the dismay of his adversaries, he continued to survive and taunt the attacking soldiers by pelting them with cherries. They couldn’t figure out how he was getting his supplies. As far as they knew, there was only one way in and out of the valley, and the castle. Unknown to the soldiers, there was a secret tunnel leading from the castle (picture 6), which allowed him to travel to the nearby village of Vipava and collect supplies, including hoards of fresh cherries.
With the strategic placement of a small signal flag, a servant of Erazem was bribed to reveal when his master was in outhouse. Unfortunately for Erazem, the toilet was situated on the top floor on the very edge of the castle. When the moment came, the flag was placed by the treacherous servant and a single cannon ball was launched killing Erazem.
Because of the siege on Erazem and a subsequent earthquake, the castle has been rebuilt several times. In 1570, the current castle was fashioned in the Renaissance style, against a vertical cliff under the original Medieval fortification. The castle has remained in this form to the present day. After the end of World War II, the castle was nationalized by the government and turned into a museum.
An annual medieval tournament, aptly named the Erasmus Tournament after Erazem, is held in July. For the duration of the tournament, Predjama returns to the Middle Ages and the castle grounds fill with costumed characters and colorful tournament events.
sources 1, 2
Kind of want to live here.