May 10, 2016

Mysterious Romania (XXV) Cismigiu Hotel Ghosts

Cismigiu Hotel nowadays

Cismigiu Hotel, a formerly fairy-tale place of Bucharest, is one of the oldest symbols of the capital of Romania. It is located on the well-known Queen Elisabeth Boulevard, within walking distance of Bucharest’s historical and commercial center. During my student years in Bucharest, I  used to pass along this Boulevard on my way to University and crossed the Cismigiu Gardens. Especially if the weather was fine and the classes didn’t start very early in the morning,  together with my colleagues we walked, talked and enjoyed the glorious days, the crisp morning air and our youth.  
 To quote:  "Those were the days.....” The hotel was known as Cismigiu hotel.
Cismigiu Gardens
Well, we never paid too much attention to the building that, at that time, had a restaurant/brewery on the ground floor. Too expensive for a student’s wallet. The hotel was closed in 1970 due to lack of maintenance. It was reopened in 1990, when it was converted into hostel for students of the Faculty of Theatre and Film. Legend says that during a weekend, when all the students were away on vacation, one student, a girl from Moldova was raped and then thrown into the elevator shaft. For hours she desperately cried for help, with no one to hear her. She died there in agony after a few hours, and many say that her screams can still be heard. It is said that she can still be seen on the corridors of the building. People say that now the stillness of the night is disturbed by cries for help that make the blood freeze in your veins. Parapsychologists state that the building was marked by a negative energy. So will you dare book a room in that hotel? The tragic event inspired a Romanian actor, who lived as a student in this hotel, to write a poem that was turned into a song by Vama Veche  band.

The history of the hotel.
Palace Hotel, 1920
In 1856, long before it was a hotel, the site of the current Cismigiu Hotel was the house of Samesu Dumitrache and “Bibica Rosetti”. At that time, the area between the National Military Building and Cismigiu Garden was covered by large gardens with few houses. The story begins with the construction of the first buildings on Queen Elisabeth Boulevard and the inauguration of Palace Hotel back in 1912. It had 200 rooms but was considered a second class hotel. Those years represented the fulfillment of  Romania’s western orientation, that’s why  the hotel  meant a great step forward for Romanian modernity. ( In fact, Bucharest was nicknamed "little Paris"at that time.)
Most delegations who came to  Bucharest chose to stay at Palace Hotel – later called Cismigiu as it is near the Gardens with the same name - as it was in the center of the city. The rooms walls were decorated with thin gold lamina and the entrance in the hotel was through a rotary  wooden door. Due to its central location, the  hotel building was used at its maximum, without receiving the needed improvement. That’s why the grand hotel was closed in 1970 and only after the fall of dictatorship was reopened.


  1. What a tragic tale of that young girl. It would be fully understandable that such a restless, tormented soul might linger afterward and haunt the corridors (I wish she would have haunted the men who abused her!).

    What a huge, grand hotel. It must be amazing inside!

    1. I am sure it looks great after renovation.
      Regarding the spirit that can't find eternal rest, yes, such tragedies lead to haunting. Some say that it was an accident but I doubt it.

  2. Oh, that poor girl. What a way to meet her end. That building has an enticing shape-- with the vortex in front. I hope I get to see it one day. Thank you for sharing memories of your student days-- yes, young and carefree we were! Fascinating post, Carmen. I always learn a lot.

    1. Bucharest is an interesting city. A mixture of new and old, like in most European capitals.
      Writing this post was an opportunity for me to"walk the memory lane", as the saying goes.
      Thank you for stopping by, Flossie!