Visit to the Postojna Cave is not complete without visiting the nearby Predjama Castle. Listed as the largest cave castle in the world in the Guinness Book of World Records, this renaissance castle was the safe hideout for the notorious baron robber Erazim of Predjama.
Between May to September each year, visitors are able to tour the cave below the Predjama castle. Thereafter, the cave will belongs solely to the returning bats. No visit is allowed. Note: visitors are denied entry to the castle 30 mins prior to closing.
Legend of Knight Robber Erazim
The cave castle was self sufficient with its own water source, and food was supplied through hidden passages. Due to the natural rocky high arch of the mountain, access to the castle is difficult. This allows Erazim, Slovenia’s Robin Hood to resist his besiegers for over a year without much problems. In 1484, the authorities finally successfully besieged the castle. Upon his death, his body was buried next to the Church of St Mary of Sorrows, a church he constructed himself. It was said that his girlfriend then planted a lime tree on his grave and named it Erazim Lime Tree to symbolise eternal life.
Inside the Cave Castle
Life in a cave was difficult as it was always dark and damp as seen by the decayed wall.
Nevertheless, there are lookout points (very limited though to ensure the safety of the castle) to take in fresh air and sunlight. Climb up this long and steep stone staircase leads to the first opening overlooking the village of Predjama.
The cave castle was well organised, almost similar to a small scale village. This room is designated for the Lord of the castle to meet with his counsels. Behind the curtain on the right of the “Lord” is a safe where important documents are kept.
This is the women cum nursery room….
Then there is a chapel for the people living in the castle to sought solace from God.
Of course, a armoury room is a definite in order to defend itself.
On the side wall is a shield with the crest of the Lord.
Cooking is done in a centralised kitchen…
And finally, upon death, the Lords were buried in stone caskets in the very cave they lived in.
Continued climbing further up the castle leads to a deeper (and upper) part of the cave. Should the first level of defend fails, the occupiers will retreat to this upper cave.
This higher point gave its occupiers a vantage point of the situation outside during the siege without being seen or risk being hurt.
In dire situation, further retreat into the mountain will be made via this narrow and dark stairway…
Since it was November when we visited, we weren’t able to use this “escape” route. But, based on the map, this route should eventually lead to either the top or basement of the cave enabling its occupier to escape capture.
Missing the underground part of the cave coupled with the melancholic yet romantic legend of a knight, somehow enshroud the castle with more mystery.