Project Description

The White Lady

It is said that on full moon nights in August an image of a maiden, The White Lady, appears on the inner wall of the chapel of Haapsalu Castle. During the reign of Ösel-Wiek Bishop, every canon was supposed to lead a chaste and virtuous life according to the rules of the monastery. Female entrance to the Episcopal Castle was forbidden by threat of death. A legend tells that a canon fell in love with an Estonian girl and brought her secretly into the castle. She hid by dressing as a choirboy and remained a secret for a long time, but when the bishop visited Haapsalu again, the young singer caught his attention and he ordered an investigation of their gender. Upon finding that she was a girl, the bishop summoned his council and it was decided that the girl should be immured in the wall of the chapel and the canon be put in prison where he was starved to death. The builders left a cavity into the wall and the poor girl was walled in with a piece of bread and a mug of water. For some time her cries for help were heard. Yet her soul could not find peace and, as a result, she has appeared in the Baptistery’s window to grieve for her beloved man for centuries, and also to prove the immortality of love. For the last three decades, the White Lady Festival has been one of the highlights of summer in Haapsalu. The Festival is dedicated to this legend and takes place every August during the full moon. In addition to the White Lady late night, open air performances, the streets of Old Town are converted to a fair ground; there are a lot of concerts, theatre shows and art events.