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The name of the castle and its location

Hasdeu Castle in Romania
Location: in Campina city, Prahova County, 33 km far from Ploiesti, Romania

Bogdan Petricescu Hasdeu

Member of a cultural dynasty which enlightened the Romanian culture all the way through the 18th and the 19th centuries,an encyclopedic spirit, is still shining above large realms of history, linguistics, ethnology, literary history and criticism.

Iulia Hasdeu (born on the 2nd of November, 1869-died on the 17th of September 1888) showed remarkable gifts from the first years of her life: she could speak, read and write French at the age of 3; at 5 she wrote poems and plays; at nearly 7, her first historical novel was completed and at the age of 11 she graduated the Gymnasium and the Academy of Music in Bucharest. She continued her studies in Paris, at the Sevigne College an at only 16 she was the first Romanian student at Sorbona,both at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy an dat the School of High Studies.

As she knew seven languages, Iulia Hasdeu`s existence unfolded on two levels: accumulation and artistic creation, be it literature, music or plastic arts. At only 19 a merciless illness,t uberculosis put an end to her life.Iulia`s tragic death opened for B.P. Hasdeu the doors of a world parallel to ours. His life was bound to a new belief, the unique "scientific belief": SPIRITISM. "...it was in March,on a rainy and dull evening; I was sitting alone at the desk in my room... I don`t know how, I really don`t know, my hand took a pencil...started to move, for maybe five seconds. I felt many short raps in my temple...like a telegraph. When my arm stopped and the pencil fell down from my fingers, I felt myself as being awaken from a deep sleep. I looked over the paper in front of me and I could read very clearly: "Je suis heureuse, je t`aime; nous nous reverrons;cela doit te sufire,Iulia Hasdeu" (I am happy, I love you; we shall see each other again; this must be sufficient for you, Iulia Hasdeu)."

From beyond the grave, Iulia Hasdeu maintained the relations with those she had left behind, giving answers to questions about the human existence, there in the eternity. Her spirit also revealed very accurate data about the construction of two monuments which were later ordered and carefully supervised by her father. One was Iulia`s Tomb in Bucharest and the other the Castle from Campina.

During a whole year,through the most famous mediums of the time, B.P. Hasdeu received from his doughter the plans of the building,directions concerning decoration and furnishing. The entire construction is an interweaving of symbols. "Numerology" is everywhere, nothing is hazardous.

Spaces gravitate around the "chapel", the central hall in which a huge Christ stands above the symbolic singn of the Holy Grail. Here, at certain moments of the day and night, the Saviour`s Face was enlightened by a mystic aura.

Iulia`s messages (most of them in French) were transmitted day after day, at night or in the daytime. In that narrow room,the walls of which were once beautifully painted, her spirit entered, revealing the eternity on paper. Proof to all these are: the spiritistic archives, the library, many photos of spirits, the piano which sometimes played without a player

"Iulia Hasdeu Castle" has been the place of mysterious secret communications between a sad father devastated by grief and his briliant doughter,a prodigy child who had passed away in her very youth, to the world of spirits.

Creation of Iulia Hasdeu`s spirit, the spiritistic temple from Campina has a strange atmosphere, born from the revelation of immortality. Silently, its monumentality charms you with the history written on the walls: "Death is just a paint in immortality", a gate to the existence as a spirit.

Short history of the structure

The castle, finished in 1896, after Hasdeu's death, will constitute a subject of great talks between who suggested to give it to the Ministry of Public Education, having for end its change in a museum. The building, who was requiring a lot of reparation, even when Hasdeu was in life, was affected by the first world war and in 1924 the People's Atheneum of Campimna "B.P.Hasdeu" tries to take it for restauration. The castle was affected again by the second world war and it keeps its state till 1955, when its name was written in the Listing of Historical Monuments.
Restored between 1962-1964, the castle will lodge from April, the 9th 1965, the Memorial Museum "B.P.Hasdeu", owing to Nicolae Simache, a teacher of history, who founded nearly all the museums of Prahova county. After the earthquake in 1977, the castle enters in a long process of restoration. The rhytm of this process was hurried by the common efforts of the Commitee for the Culture of Prahova County, the Municipal Council of Campina, the History and Archaeology and the Foundation "Hasdeu". In this way, on June, the 17th 1994, the Memorial Museum "B.P.Hasdeu" was opened partially and on February, the 25th 1995 it's put at visitors disposal, although the restoration wasn't finished. The visitors can admire the furniture, the things of the family, photos and original documents, manuscripts, Hasdeu's reviews, many pictures made by Nicolae Grigorescu, Sava Hentia, G.D. Mirea, Diogene Maillart.
Hasdeu's spiritist preoccupations occupy an important place in the ensemble of the exhibition. I must say that I was most happy for going on a trip on a school day, but this trip to Campina in the European Week turned out to be both fun and interesting. The way to Campina seemed so short, we sat and talked all the time and I couldn't get bored. We made friends easily and discussed interesting topics; we even mentioned school, which wasn't exactly in our schedule.
When we arrived at "Iulia Hasdeu" Castle everyone was amazed, as it is a strange building. Our new friends had already been told something about it before, but now they found out new things and exact dates in the history of the castle. Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu (1838-1907) was a well-known historian, writer and philologist. In the early 1880's, Hasdeu buys a house in which to spend the summers with his family. His only daughter, Iulia, born in 1869, a very talented poet and pianist, dies in 1888, at the age of nineteen. The premature loss of his beloved daughter causes Hasdeu an unimaginable pain and makes him fall into bizarre beliefs. In his daughter's memory he starts building the "Iulia Hasdeu" Castle in Campina in 1893, which is finished in 1896. In his castle he remains isolated from a world that was trying to remove him from the science arena.
The building was devastated in World War One and restored only after World War Two when it was declared an architectural monument. In 1965, the "B. P. Hasdeu" memorial museum opens. It presents original papers that confirm the existence of the Hasdeu family even in the 17th century, family pictures and paintings, manuscripts, furniture items and personal objects. In front of the museum was built a statue of B. P. Hasdeu in 1937. On the inside, the castle is even stranger and maybe a bit scary, especially the room in the central part of the building, where the statue of Jesus Christ is. Being there, looking up to see the statue and listening to a sad song that is said to have been dictated by Iulia to her father in a spiritualism session, makes you turn back in time for a moment and see Hasdeu, a father devastated by his daughter's death, climbing the stairs to the statue and praying.
As simple as it is, the castle did not fail to show as the image of a desperate father and give us some hints of his grief. It gave us a profound feeling of pity for Hasdeu, the man who had spent the rest of his unhappy life mourning for Iulia. After this moment of sadness, we had our part of fun, going to a picnic, where we had the chance to talk (again!) and take pictures.
This was a special day for me and I will always remember it so and hope that next time will be at least as pleasant as this experience.

What is there in the castle now?

Now, the castle is a museum of the Hasdeu Family. The museum, hosted by "Iulia Hasdeu" Castle, is open each day, all year round except Mondays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each year, three big celebrations take place relating to the Hasdeu family: "B.P. Hasdeu' Iulia's Days" on 27th and 28th February, "The Celebration of the Two Iulia's" from 1st to 5th July "Iulia Hasdeu's Days" on 14th and 15th November.

Photoghraphs of the castle

Students - active in preparing this project

Mitrofan Claudia Gabriela, 17 years

Materials of students


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