Saturday, June 5, 2010

Predjamski Grad / Predjama Castle, Slovenia

The castle was first mentioned in year 1274, then named Luegg, when Aquileian patriarchs built the castle in gothic style. The castle was built under a natural rocky arch high in the stone wall to make access to it difficult. It was later annexed and re-shaped by family Luegg, also called Predjama knights. Erazem, who was the owner of the castle in 15th century, and a renowned robber, later joined king Matthias Corvinus, for which the current Emperor ordered Gašper Ravbar to assassinate him. After a long siege of the castle, Erazem was finally killed in 1483 by being tricked. The castle has fallen under Oberburg and Purgstall power.
In 1567 archduke Karel leased the castle to baron Philipp von Cobenzl, who bought off the castle after 20 years. He annexed the castle as early as 1570 and built a renaissance building, pressed next to a vertical cliff under the castle. The castle remained in such form until today. Count Michael Coronini von Cronberg inherited the castle in 1810 and it was property of family Windischgrätz from 1846 until the end of World War II. After the war it was nationalized and is now used as a museum for showing the life of medieval lords.
A secret natural shaft leads out of the castle, which Erazem ordered to be enlarged, and leads into Postojnska jama. This shaft allowed Erazem to secretly supply the castle with food in the time of the siege; he also used it to continue with his robberies.

Predjama Castle was used as the castle featured in the 1986 movie Armour of God by Golden Harvest starring Jackie Chan. It was also investigated for paranormal activity in a 2008 episode of Ghost Hunters International on the Sci Fi Channel.

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