There are some places you see in a picture and you instantly want to visit because they are so unique. The Predjama Castle (also referred to as Castel Lueghi) is Slovenia was one of those places for me. It is the world’s largest cave castle, perched in the middle of a 123-meter (403 foot)-high cliff.
The beautiful Renaissance-style castle has been standing for more than 800 years as it is believed to date back to at least 1202. The image of a huge fortress coming out of the mouth of a cave above a village is impressive enough, but as you learn more about the history of the castle and the cave beneath it, this amazing location will quickly rise to the top of your bucket list.
The image below from Paul Seeley shows the front of castle protruding from the rocks.
How to Get to Predjama Castle
The Predjama Castle is approximately 10 km from Postojna and just a few kilometers from Postojna Cave. If you have a ticket to both the Predjama Castle and the Postojna Cave, you can use the free shuttle (only in July and August) to get between the two. Otherwise, you can walk or arrange for a taxi.
Given its location, the Predjama Castle is a convenient day trip from several different cities. Postojna is less than an hour away from Ljubljana, Portorož, Rijeka and Trieste. Postojna is also just two hours from from Venice and Zagreb, and just a few hours from Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest, Dubrovnik or Belgrade only a few hours.
You should be easily able to reach the Postojna Cave Park by taking the A1 motorway from Ljubljana, Koper or Trieste. You will want to take the Postojna motorway exit No. 41, which is just two km from the Postojna Cave Park entrance.
If you are traveling by train, you will want to get off in Postojna, which is on the Vienna -Venice railway line, with connections to Zagreb, Salzburg, Rijeka and Koper. Once you are in Postojna, you can find a taxi, take the bus or walk 25-30 minutes to the Postojna Cave Park Entrance.
The bus is a great option as there is a bus stop at the parking lot in front of the Postojna Cave. You can use the following link to check the timetable for buses to Postojna Cave.
If you are flying in to see the Predjama Castle, there are plenty of options depending where you want your home base to be. The closest airports to Postojna are in Slovenia’s Ljubljana, Italy’s Trieste, Venice and Milan or Croatia’s Zagreb, Rijeka and Pula.
The image below from Arttu Lehtonen shows more of the landscape surrounding the Castle and the cave beneath it.
Architecture of Predjama Castle
The Predjama Castle has been remodeled and reconstructed many times over the centuries. Its current version is a classic display of the Renaissance style, but legend has it that it used to feature a completely different Gothic facade.
The first mention in history of the Predjama Castle describes a Gothic castle in 1274. The siege of the castle discussed under History below, led to rebuilding in 1511. By 1570, the castle had taken its current form, which has gone largely unaltered since that time.
Another beautiful image of the castle below also came from Arttu Lehtonen.
INSIDER TIP: Head to the Castle during the spring to get fantastic foliage and to pose with the wildflowers, like @thestreetswanderer in the image below.
Key Information for Visiting Predjama Castle
There is a lot more to this area than just the castle as there are two caves and other exhibits. There is a lot you need to know before you pack up and head there. We tried to gather the most important information for you below.
You can tailor your ticket to the experience you want by buying entrance to only the attractions you want. There is entry to the castle, the cave under the castle and the Postojna Cave. There is also the Expo Cave Karst, which is an exhibit about the creation of the Postojna Cave, and the Vivarium, which is a speleobiological exhibition (laboratory for scientific work and research) just outside the Postojna Cave. The following prices were current as of 2019.
- Predjama Castle only 13.80 Euros
- Cave under the Castle only 9.90 Euros
- Expo Cave Karst 9.90 Euros
- Vivarium 9.90 Euros
- Postojna Cave 25.80 Euros
- Postojna Cave & Castle 35.70 Euros
- Postojna Cave/Expo Cave Karst/Vivarium 37.90 Euros
- Entrance to all Attractions 41.90 Euros
If you want to stay more than a day visiting these attractions, you can also book a room at the Hotel Jama, starting at 74 Euros per night.
You can check up-to-date information on all the tour schedules for each attraction with this link.
The tour of the castle takes about an hour, while the tour of the top two levels of the cave under the castle takes about 45 minutes. Additional time will be required if you take the adventure tour of the whole cave.
The tour is done via audio guide (available in 15 languages), which details the Castle’s key features and history. Even kids will enjoy this tour, as you get to learn about things like the holes in the ceiling of the entrance tower used to pour burning oil on intruders, the ancient treasure, a scary dungeon, secret tunnels and hiding places in the towers.
If you travel with an animal companion, be advised that there are no pets allowed in either Prejdama Castle or Postojna Cave.
The Predjama Castle and cave are not designed for visitors with mobility concerns as there are a number of stairs. For this reason the Castle is also not suitable for those with strollers who are not able to carry their children. The cave under the castle is not suitable for young children either (recommended age is 6 and above. Don’t leave your stroller at home though, as you can use it all around the castle grounds and it can be loaded on the train for the Postojna Cave tour as long as it can be folded.
There are different options for eating in the Castle area, with both casual and more upscale options available.
The Cave under the Castle
It should be noted the cave under the castle is only open for visitors from May to September. It is closed other times due to the hibernation season of the bats that inhabit the cave.
The beautiful image below is another one from @thestreetswanderer.
The history of Predjama Castle is interesting, but it is mostly based on legend so we can’t be sure how much is accurate. The reason Predjama castle is also known as Castel Lueghi is because legend has it that the powerful Erazem Lueger gained control of the castle in the late 15th century.
Erazem Lueghi was a famous robber baron in the surrounding areas who used his riches to amass land. The Predjama Castle became the perfect hiding place for Lueghi when the armies of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III came searching for Lueghi after Lueghi murdered a kinsman of Frederick III.
Legend has it that Lueger survived over a year in the castle by smuggling food and provisions through a secret tunnel in the Postojna Cave. The legend continues that Lueger finally met his end when a servant alerted the forces, and Lueger was shot off an upper level toilet by canon fire.
Another great image from @thestreetswanderer shows much more of the lands of the castle where you can explore beautiful scenery.
The Cave of the Predjama Castle
Besides the crazy history of the Predjama Castle, the cave that sits under the castle is just as much of a draw for the adventurous tourist. The cave covers four floors and is the second longest cave in Slovenia. Visitors to Predjama Castle can tour one section of the cave as part of the castle tour, while the remaining sections of the cave can only be visited as part of adventure tours.
The image below from Catherine Leclercq shows the cave beneath the castle.
The Predjama Castle in the Media
The Predjama Castle has been used is many films, documentaries and other forms. Perhaps most famously, it was featured in the Game of Thrones. It was also featured in in the 1986 movie Armour of God starring Jackie Chan. In 2008, it was investigated for paranormal activity on the popular show Ghost Hunters International. It was also the filming location of Laibach’s Sympathy For The Devil cover’s music video. Finally, video game fans may recognize it as the basis for the multiplayer map “Castle” in the 2014 game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
There is not much more to say-just go visit the Predjama Castle and have a great time. If you have already been, we would love for you to share your experiences with our Facebook Group. Also, be sure to check out our recommended gear pages so you can stock up on the best gear to make your trip that much better!