The city of Campina, situated at about 2 hours trip by car from Bucharest seems not very interesting, but you must know that it is the home of Iulia Hasdeu Castle, a very interesting castle. In order to find it, one must follow the signs in the city and reach the police station, as this castle is right next to it.
From the outside, you may notice nothing extraordinary. This is a small castle consisting of three parts, having the tower in the center. Small niches line the top of the building.
Its incongruous form makes it all strange, especially with the sign on the front, an eye inside a triangle, representing the divine eye that fixes you intensely.
At the rear side you will find a garden with many walnut trees. Toilets are available in the room to the left of the castle in the backyard. You will find some artistic works in the backyard, unfortunately, without any information about their history.
To visit the castle, entrance is 10 lei and there is a fee for taking photos. Website: http://www.muzeulhasdeu.ro/, as you can see it also in French. You can buy books there, the ones that Hasdeu has written having as inspiration the conversations with his daughter. Headphones are available in several languages, English, French and of course Romanian, this making it easier to understand the story of this strange castle. The description of the castle seems sometimes a bit too long, but nevertheless some parts have captivated us, those dealing with the relationship between the father and daughter before and after disappearance of the latter.
The castle was built by BP Hasdeu, Romanian scholar, to honor his daughter Iulia, dead of tuberculosis at the age of 18. But the story does not end there, indeed, it would be Iulia itself who has dictated the plans of the castle to the scientist. We find allusions to religion and spirituality; symbols, statues and tools.
The bourgeois style castle has many paintings and photos of family members; scientific books, books of spiritualism, and works by Iulia who was precociously gifted for prose, poetry and drama. In summary, many memories of a man who had taken refuge in the belief in spiritualism, in order not to sink into sadness. Very touching story, I believe.
The castle has suffered from robbing, and thanks to many efforts of restauration we can now tell you this story.
After the tour, we go on a road with a form of a giant snake. This is Valea Doftanei.
For a distance of over 30 km, it will take you through forests and views over the valleys and small villages. For this we take the 207 towards Plaiu Campinei, Comuna Sotrile, Seciuri, then finally the Paltinu dam.
There are large wooded areas and a sinister lake where smoke rises. For a quicker return, better go through 1021 Lunca Mare, also a very interesting road.
For a one day trip away from Bucharest, it is a very good option. Not too crowded, not too far away, perfect for a picnic in the forest and some exploration. You can also try the villa Atra Doftana, in case you want to spend a night next to a lake and have fine dining.