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Saturday, January 22, 2022



Predjama: The world's largest cave castle

Predjama is one of the most extraordinary castles in the world, built in the mouth of a cave complex at the end of a valley in southwest Slovenia.

Set halfway up a 400-foot (123-meter) vertical cliff face, it appears in records from 1202 and is listed by Guinness World Records as the world's largest cave castle.

With a Renaissance facade dating back to the 1580s, the word "majestic" doesn't even begin to describe it. Yet for tour guide and historian Vojko Jurca, one of the highlights is, on first appearances, a little underwhelming.

"This is it," he says proudly, indicating an outhouse toilet with a sloping roof and a boarded-up door.

It may look unremarkable, but the story behind it isn't.

The story focuses on robber baron Erasmus von Lueg, a local Robin Hood hero who fled to the castle in the mid-1480s after killing Count Pappenheim, Marshal of the imperial Habsburg Court, in a duel whose legitimacy was disputed.

In retaliation, a siege was ordered on Predjama by Habsburg Emperor Frederick III.

But Erasmus stood firm, aided by a network of secret tunnels burrowed into the rocks that allowed him to bring in provisions and collect rainwater.

He mocked his opponents by sending them fresh cherries brought in from the Vipava Valley, 13 miles west, using those underground passages.

The end would come, after a year and a day, when Erasmus was betrayed by a servant.

As Jurca tells it, when Erasmus went to the outhouse located on a third-floor terrace, the servant lit a wooden torch as a signal. Moments later, a cannonball came whistling through the air, killing Erasmus in the middle of his last bowel movement.

The outhouse has clearly been rebuilt in the intervening years.

To read more of the article, and to see a few more images, go HERE.


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