The temple dedicated to Julia Hasdeu in Campina was the place of refuge for Romanian scientist and occult aficionado, Bogdan Petriceicu-Hasdeu, after the death of his sole daughter. The Castle in Campina is said to be still visited by the spirits of its former owners and during some nights, the locals said that they could hear Julia playing the piano in the ovations of her father, and some nights, the old Hasdeu can be heard screaming and hauling at the window, overwhelmed with grief for the loss of his daughter.
Extremely affected by the death of Julia, to which he was very fond, Hasdeu built a peculiar edifice meant to intercede the grieving father’s communication with his daughter in Heaven, by spiritualist sessions. The monument is also known by the name of the Castle of the Magus, or “Spiritualist Temple at the foot of the Carpathians”. This building, alongside the Hasdeu Family vault at the Bellu Cemetery in Bucharest, is the only spiritualist temples in the world.
Julia Hasdeu Castle is very impressive thanks to its outstanding architecture and the emotional story of parental love whose presence can still be perceived in the air. Julia Hasdeu Castle lies in Campina, Boulevard Carol I, no. 199.
Let us begin with a few words about Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu and his two Julias: his wife and daughter.
Hasdeu lived from 1838-1907 and was a leading figure of the Romanian culture, a great writer, academician, politician, historian, journalist, lawyer, linguist and folklorist.
Julia Hasdeu was the wife of the scientist, whom he loved very much and married on June 10, 1865, in Bucharest; their marriage lasted about 40 years. Unfortunately, his beloved wife died on July 2, 1902.
The daughter of the prestigious scholar, Julia Hasdeu, was born on 14 November 1869. She was a very smart child at the age of 2 years old was able to read, memorize and recite long poems. She won first prize at the end of secondary school, at the age of only 11 years and at that time already knew three languages: French, German, English. In 1881 she went to Paris to continue her studies. At 16, she took the baccalaureate in Letters and was enrolled at the Sorbonne (the first woman student there). She loved the French language and literature and wanted to be known as a writer. Unfortunately at the age of 18, she contracted tuberculosis and died on September 29, 1888, despite her parents’ efforts. Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu and his wife were very affected by this and began to believe in the idea of immortality Julia.
B.P. Haşdeu began practicing spiritualism as the only way to communicate with the world beyond. This castle built between 1894 and 1896, was inspired by the spirit of his daughter, Julia. Initially, it should have had the form of a cathedral, but later plans were changed leading to its present shapes consisting in three stone towers, the middle being the highest and harboring a temple. The day of July 2nd was the symbolic date when the scientist was celebrating his two Julas: his wife and daughter.
Inside the castle, by the windows, there are two parallel mirrors and it is said that everything that goes by there is multiplied to infinity. The building is full of mystery because of the symbolic elements present inside.
Parental love is still present in the air inside the castle. B.P. Hasdeu lived 10 more years in this castle, and on 25 August 1907 he has died.
Two stone sculptures representing two sphinxes guard the entrance on the domain.
At the entrance you are welcomed inside the reception room of Julia Hasdeu, the wife, comprising: a Boulle style pendulum that belonged to the scientist; a portrait of Efrem Hajdeu, ancestor of B. P. Hasdeu; a marble bust of Julia Hasdeu, the wife; a showcase several personal items etc.
The living room hosts medallions and mural paintings of Tadeu Hasdeu (the scholar’s grandfather), Julia Faliciu (his wife), B.P. Haşdeu, Alexander Haşdeu (the son of Thadeu), Elizabeta Hasdeu (the mother of the scholar), Julia Hasdeu (the daughter), Nicholas Hasdeu (the scholar’s brother). Here you can also find a monumental clock that belonged to the father of the scholar; Rococo style furniture; table and fruit bowl; a showcase with porcelain ware, etc. All items are unique and have an uncommon beauty and elegance.
It is knows that Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu was a devoted freemason and passionate of occult sciences, that is why, the entire architecture of the building has a special significance and symbolism.
The Temple of the castle has a special emotional and spiritual charge: here can be admired a symbol of the Holy Grail and a wood statue representing the Christ, made by the French sculptor Raphael Casciani, that is very well-preserved and has constantly been protected from earthquakes or other acts that had unpleasant effects on the castle. In the temple there is an altar where an pianin that is said that sometimes it plays by itself. There are even testimonies stating that, during the visits to the castle, music emerged from the piano without anyone toughing it and everyone was astonished. This area is surrounded on one side and the other of the two chambers with the role of libraries.
The working desk of B.P. Haşdeu includes a Rococo style sofa and armchairs; a walnut desk; paintings and other things that belonged to academician.
Julia’s room includes: her doll; a notebook of arithmetic; Julia’s diary; a sculpture bust of Julia; the working table thereof; two icons; Julia’s inkwell etc.
The darkroom, were spiritualism séances used to be held keeps spiritualist manuscripts; paintings; the spiritualism table and photos; three seats called “tripods” with masonic symbols encrypted; a gas lamp etc.
There is a hole in the wall that connects with the scholar’s desk through which it is said that Julia’s spirit descended.
Roughly, these are the things that you can see this castle of surreal beauty.
The entrance ticket to the castle includes an audio guide which provides details of all exhibits in the castle, and also has a message for you Julia visitors.