Iulia Hasdeu Castle, where mystery and culture go together

What do the Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, The Tower of London, the UK and the Iulia Hasdeu Castle in Romania have in common?

Romania is home to more than 190 castles and palaces, Castle Bran being the most famous due to its connection to Dracula. Some of them have fantastic stories, being linked to spiritism, magic or the ghosts still haunting them. This castle is rather unknown in Romania, and offers a lesson of spiritism, architecture and culture. The Iulia Hasdeu Castle is a place where mystery and culture go together and it’s a wonderful place to stop if you are on your way from Bucharest to Brasov.

The Iulia Hasdeu Castle is a folly house built in the form of small castle by historian and politician Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu in the city of Câmpina, Romania. Work on it began in 1893, after Hasdeu’s daughter, Iulia (en. Julia) Hasdeu, died at the age of 19, an event that dramatically shook and changed his father’s life. Since his child’s death, the scholar B. P. Hasdeu consecrated a veritable cult to his daughter. The same as Victor Hugo, he chose the path of spiritualism as the only way to comfort himself and to experiment the communication with the other world. He claimed that his belated daughter provided the plans for building the castle during sessions of spiritism (which took much of Hasdeu’s imagination and time after Iulia’s death). The building was completed in 1896. It is said that Iulia reportedly haunts the castle still, walking through the courtyard in a white dress and holding daisies.

The castle has two towers on the sides, one for Iulia, his daughter and one for another Iulia, his wife, whom he also loved deeply. In the middle, there is a larger space that B.P.Hasdeu used for spiritualistic experiments. Even today, there is a “Celebration of the two Julias” held every year on the 2nd of July.

The castle, which required a lot of revamping even when Hasdeu was alive, has been affected by the First World War. In 1924 the People’s Atheneum of Câmpina “B.P.Hasdeu” tried to take it over for restoration. The Second World War affected the castle again and it kept its state until 1955, when it was included in the Listing of Historical Monuments.

Since 1994 the Iulia Hasdeu Castle has been housing the “B.P.Hasdeu” Memorial Museum, which displays furniture, personal belongings of the Hasdeu family, photos and original documents, manuscripts, Hasdeu’s reviews, many paintings made by Nicolae Grigorescu and Sava Hentia.

So in case you want to see a castle that appears next to the Edinburgh Castle, Scotland and The Tower of London, the UK as one of the most haunted places on Earth, make sure you visit the Iulia Hasdeu Castle.

Wondering how to get there? From Bucharest, it will take you around one hour and a half if you take DN1 towards Brasov to DJ101R in Cornu de Jos (Campina) for 96 km and then follow the latter road for another 2 km.

Oana Pascu