Status: Historical Castle
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This castle was built in 1274 by the Patriarch of Aquileia – now part of Italy – under a natural arch in the mountain for defense and lack of ease in approaching.
In the 15th century it became the seat of Erasmus (Erazem) of Lueg the son of an Italian Governor who made his living as a robber baron. Scruples were not high of Lueg’s list of qualities and he killed the Commander of the Habsburg Imperial Army due to a perceived insult to his friend.
In history Erazem is presented as both a villain and a hero; it depends which side you look at his story from.
Lueg then allied himself with the King of Hungary and used his status as a Habsburg enemy to raid and loot their estates bringing in a new source of income. Finally, siege was laid to the castle by the Habsburg Army now led by his own father. A siege that last for more than a year.
There is an unproven story that Lueg was killed while sitting on his own toilet by a cannon shot. The story says he was betrayed by one of his own men who signaled when his master was on the “throne”.
The castle was completely destroyed in the siege and battle; it was rebuilt in 1511 by the Purgstall family but that castle was destroyed in an earthquake. In 1570 the current castle, built in Renaissance Style, was constructed over the foundation of the original castles.
In the 18th century it became the summer residence of the Cobenzi family and it was sold to a family of Austrian-Slovenian aristocrats in the mid-19th century. It remained in that family until after World War II when it seized by the Yugoslavian Communist Government and converted into a museum.
The castle is now a tourist attraction offering tours of both building and the cave beneath.
Erazem of Lueg – hero to some and villain to the rest – reportedly tortured and killed a number of people within the castle walls. He then dumped their bodies over the castle wall and into the ravine below where – it is said – their remains still lie buried under the sand of time.
Phantom screams are heard coming from the castle as well as in the ravine and cave below. Apparitions of Lueg’s victims still walk the ravine floor beneath the castle.
In the castle itself the ghost of Lueg himself is said to still rule the passages and rooms looking for the servant who betrayed him to his death. Cold spots and winds are said to move through the castle with no apparent source. Unexplained mists and shadows flow through the hallways and enter the rooms. Many have told tales of feeling something brush by them and feeling as if they being watched and not approved of.
Erazem of Lueg may still rule his castle; but one thing’s for certain, he is not happy with the strangers that walk his halls in the 21st century.