Predjamski Grad

Höhlenschloß Lueg

Useful Information

Predjamski Grad, Solvenia.
Predjamski Grad from below. Easy to believe that this castle was hard to take.
Engraving of the cave castle from the book Die Ehre des Herzogtums Krain by Valvasor, Predjamski Grad, Slovenia. Public Domain.
Location: 8 km northwest Postojna.
Shuttle service from Postojna Cave to the castle available in July and August, ride takes up to 20 minutes. Road to Predjama is signposted from the Postojna Cave, just follow signs.
(45.815709, 14.127313)
Open: APR daily 10-17.
MAY to JUN daily 9-18.
JUL to AUG daily 9-19.
SEP daily 9-18.
OCT daily 10-17.
NOV to MAR daily 10-16.
Last entry 30 minutes before closing.
Fee: Adults EUR 19, Children (6-15) EUR 11.50, Children (0-5) EUR 1, Students (16-25) EUR 15.50.
Combo with Postojnska Cave:
Adults EUR 41.90, Children (6-15) EUR 25, Children (0-5) EUR 2, Students (16-25) EUR 33.50.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SubterraneaCave Castle,
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=9-10 °C, L=7,571 m, A=490 m asl
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes, partly
Address: Postojnska jama d.d., Jamska cesta 30, 6230 Postojna, Tel: +386-5-700-01-00, Fax: +386-5-700-01-30. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1202 first castle Jamski Grad in the Erazmova Jama first mentioned.
15th century siege of castle by Gaspar Ravbar and death of Erasmus, first castle destroyed.
150? second castle built by the Purgstall family.
1511 destroyed by an earthquake.
1567 Archduke Karl II. Franz von Innerösterreich (Charles of Austria) leases the ruined castle to Baron Philipp von Cobenzl.
1570 Baron Philipp von Cobenzl builds the current castle in the Renaissance style.
1587 Baron Philipp von Cobenzl pays it off.
18th century becomes one of the favourite summer residences of the Cobenzl family.
1810 inherited by Count Michael Coronini von Cronberg.
1846 sold to the Windischgrätz family.
1946 confiscated and nationalized by the Yugoslav Communist authorities and turned into a museum.


Predjamski Grad, the cave castle as seen from the road to the entrance of the lowest level of the cave.
View from the cave behind the castle, Predjamski Grad, Slovenia. Public Domain.
An engraving from the 19th century, Predjamski Grad, Slovenia. Public Domain.
1816 lithography of the castle by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Predjamski Grad, Slovenia. Public Domain.

Predjamski Grad (Predjama Castle) is perhaps the most famous cave castle in the world. The castle is located in a 123 m-high limestone cliff, inside the entrance of a cave. This extraordinary and romantic location made it well known. The site was a location for movies multiple times, mostly for historic, fantasy, and fairy tale movies. Since some years there is an annual Medieval festival right in front of the castle, which offers a great background. The castle floor plan was used in the computer game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The castle was featured in the Jackie Chan film Armour of God and in Season 3 of The Witcher.

The modern name is Slovenian, but until World War I this area belonged to the Austro-Hugarian, and the German name is Höhlenburg Lueg, or actually Burg Lueg. It was first mentioned in 1274 with the German name Luegg, when the Patriarch of Aquileia built the castle in Gothic style. It was later acquired and expanded by the noble family known as the Ritter von Adelsberg (Knights of Postojna). From then on they were called von Luegg after the castle. Between the World Wars, the area was Italian, and the Italian name was Castel Lueghi.

The cave behind the castle is called Erazmova Jama (Erasmushöhle), after the knight Erasmus von Luegg, who lived in the castle during the 15th century. The huge cave system has four levels. The deepest level is water filled, the river flowing through is called Lovka. The Lokva sinks into the cave at the foot of the cliff face, right below the castle, and the river flows into the Mediterranean sea. The second level is dry and was used to build the stable for the horses in the entrance chamber. As the entrance was in the cliff face, it was necessary to build a bridge. This level is used as a show cave today, which we have listed separately as ShowcavePredjamska Jama. It is entered in level two and exited from level four above the castle. The castle is built into the huge entrance of the third level, which is located between the other passages, but nevertheless is not connected to the rest of the cave system. In other words, despite being the different stages of the developing cave, they are listed as different caves, the castle is in Erazmova Jama, the other three levels are Predjamska Jama. An exit shaft from the castle to the plateau was used as secret entrance during the Middle Ages. Erasmus ordered to enlarge the shaft and equipped it with wooden ladders, and was used to supply the castle with food in the times of siege, but also to secretly commit robberies. This part of the cave may be visited with a cave trekking tour.

Marshal Pappenheim once offended the honour of Erasmus's deceased friend and famous condottiere Andrej Baumkircher of Vipava. They had an argument in 1483 at the Vienna Court. Erasmus killed him, and thus came into conflict with the Habsburgs, because Pappenheim was not only the commander of the imperial army, he was a relative of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III, who ordered to capture Erasmus. He fled to the family fortress of Predjama. Here, he allied himself with King Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary and Croatia, and began to attack Habsburg estates and towns in Carniola. As a result Frederick III commissioned the governor of Trieste, Andrej or Gaspar Ravbar, both names are given, with the capture or killing of Erasmus. He besieged the castle, but the people in the castle had the secret entrance, and so they had enough to eat. They laughed at the besieger and threw down fresh fruit to discourage them. Although he was a brave and almost unbeatable knight, Erazem died while after a betrayal by his servant. He was killed by a shot from a cannon on his toilet.

Much of this popular legend is actually wrong. Erazem Predjamski, or rather Erazem Jamski, is a historical person, he actually lived. But his life is different from the legend. More recent research suggests that he was not a marauding knight, but fell out of favor due to a political dispute. At the imperial court, he became involved in a duel in which he killed his opponent. He was not willing to surrender to the court, so the governor of Carniola besieged him in his cave castle. Even the fact that he was killed by a cannonball in the toilet because of the servant's betrayal is fantasy. Actually, he was fatally hit by a projectile, as the chronicler Jakob Unrest writes, a bullet from a hand cannon, but not from a heavier cannon weapon.

As customary after a siege, the winner destroyed the castle. The ruin was purchased by the Oberburg family, then by the Purgstall family, who built a new castle in the first decade of the 16th century. It was short-lived, as it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1511. Archduke Karl II. Franz von Innerösterreich (Charles of Austria) leased the castle to Baron Philipp von Cobenzl, who paid it off 20 years later. Baron Philipp von Cobenzl built the current castle in the Renaissance style in 1570. During the 18th century, it became one of the favourite summer residences of the Cobenzl family. It was frequented by the Austrian statesman and famous art collector Philipp von Cobenzl (*1741-✝1810) and the diplomat and politician of the Habsburg monarchy Count Ludwig von Cobenzl (*1753-✝1809).

Predjama Castle has always been the inspiration of artists, painters and graphic artists, but also the subject of research, by historians, architects, and castellologists. The lithography on the right is probably the most realistic and detailed of those pictures, and was drawn by the famous Prussian architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (*1781–✝1841). He built the famous museums in Berlin, some are named after him. He came to Predjama when he traveled to Italy between 1803 and 1805, and in 1816 he transferred the sketch from his travel sketchbook into a lithography and published it in Berlin. At this time lithography was the bleeding edge of printing technology, and it was invented in Germany, and Berlin was a center of lithographic activity in Europe. But the image has a flaw, actually a pretty big one: it is laterally reversed. The most likely reason is that he actually drew the image on the rock as it was in the sketchbook, but he should have drawn it reversed, so it would be right again after printing. Fortunately, we have a digital image which is easily switched back, only the text at the bottom is now reversed.