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Predjama Castle

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Twelve kilometers northeastern from Postojna is situated Predjamski grad (The Jama Castle). It is one of the most visited castles in Slovenia. Castle was built-up into the overhanging rock and vista to that combination of a nature and man work is really great. Walk through the castle halls is a unique event. Very realistic man size dummies are presenting ancient life of the castle. There is also a museum collection and ancient armory. Below the castle is "Jama pod Predjamskim gradom" (Cave under the Castle) where use to be horse studs. The castle was first mentioned in 1274.
Below the 120 m high rock is a sinkhole of Lokve brook which flows into large cave system.
Annual Erazmus Knight's Tournament festival at the picturesque Predjamski Castle, near Postojna offer visitors a window into the past in the Middle Ages - in 16th century through jousting and sword fighting competitions. There is a medieval market and other events featuring people in period dress, as well as period food, song and dance.
Knights, swordsmen and archers show their skills on the field of Combat. The 'star' and the historic character are knight Erasmus who was the famous inhabitant of the castle and his friend Andreas Baumkircher who protected Vienna from the Turks in that time. Throughout the day people are dressed in the costumes of the 16th century.
About the castle: Predjama Castle (Predjamski grad  Höhlenburg Lueg is a Renaissance castle built below the huge rock shelter and above the entrance to Predjama Cave system. It is located in Inner Carniola region on south-east side of Slovenia, 8 kilometers north-west from town Postojna.
Predjama castle was built in Gothic style by the Patriarch of Aquileia  and was first mentioned in the year 1274 with the name Luegg.
The castle became known as the seat of Knight Erazem Lueger  who was the owner of the castle in the 15th century and a renowned robber baron. He was the son of the Imperial Governor of Trieste, Nikolaj Lueger. According to legend, 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.
A headstrong and rebellious knight, Erazem rebelled against the Austrian emperor Fredrick III and eventually killed his kinsman. Thus enraged, the Austrian leader commissioned the governor of Trieste, Andrej Ravbar, to capture and kill Erazem. This is when the impregnability of Predjama Castle was tested.
For a year and a day, Erazem was besieged in his fortress. But to the dismay of his adversaries, he continued to survive and taunt the attacking soldiers by pelting them with cherries. They could not understand how he was obtaining supplies. As far as they knew, there was only one way in and out of both the valley and castle; but the Erazem knew better. Unbeknown to the soldiers, Erazem knew of a secret tunnel leading from the castle, which allowed him to travel to the nearby village of Vipava and collect supplies, including hoards of fresh cherries when in season.
But it seemed that the soldiers were to have the last laugh. With the strategic placement of a small signal flag, a servant of Erazem was bribed to reveal when his master was in attendance at that place where the elusive knight and even the noblest of men needed to go after consuming lots of cherries and wine: the outhouse. Unfortunately for Erazem, the toilet, situated on the top floor and at the very edge of the castle, was the one place that was not impregnable. When the moment came, the flag was placed there by the treacherous servant. A single cannonball was launched, and Erazem was literally caught with his trousers down.
After the siege and destruction of the original castle, its ruins were acquired by the Oberburg noble family. In 1511, the second castle, built by the Purgstall family in the first decade of the 16th century, was destroyed in an earthquake. In the year 1567, Archduke Charles of Austria leased the castle to baron Philipp von Cobenzl, who paid it off after 20 years. In 1570, the current castle was built in the Renaissance style, pressed next to a vertical cliff under the original Medieval fortification. The castle has remained in this form, virtually unchanged, to the present day.
In the 18th century, it became one of the favorite 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 authorities and turned into a museum.

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