The Abandoned Constanta Casino: From Art Nouveau to Present Ruin

Diana Condrea
Diana Condrea
Diana is a tourism consultant, tour guide, travel writer and amateur photographer. You can find Diana on LinkedIn

If you’d like to discover the Constanta Casino and other attractions from the region, contact us via www.uncover-romania-tours.com

The story of the Constanta Casino is sadly the story of Romania’s many splendid, yet abandoned historical monuments. A great piece of Art Nouveau architecture from the early 20th century, the Casino was once the symbol of Romania’s main port, Constanta, on the shore of the Black Sea.

Constanta Casino

Constanta Casino

A landmark of the Belle Epoque

No other monument illustrates so perfectly the Belle Epoque in Constanta like the building of the Casino. Dating from the first years of the last century, the Casino was built at the initiative of Romania’s first King, Carol the 1st. It was inaugurated in 1910, and until the Second World War, it was the main seaside meeting point for the rich tourists who enjoyed to gamble. The foundations of the Constanta Casino were modified three times depending on the architects’ perspectives, Daniel Renard and Petre Antonescu.

An eclectic piece of architecture, with many marine-inspired decorations, including its almost surreal shell windows facing the Black Sea, the Casino was the place where you were received only if you were dressed according to the latest fashion, where fortunes were lost and won in just minutes.

constanta casino

The Casino during the Great War

The Casino had its share of loss in the dramatic historical events that shaped the country’s existence in the past century. It was briefly used as a war hospital in the First World War, and during the Second World War, it was transformed into a hospital. The communist regime used it as an administrative building, and the last major restoration was done in 1988. After 1990, its advanced degradation and substantial financial investments needed for its restoration complicated, even more, its somehow dramatic faith.

Once a glamorous and iconic symbol of Romania’s rising aspirations, the Casino is today seriously affected by the authorities’ indifference whose indecisively attitude left it unprotected. Even so, it lures dreamy visitors with its nostalgic air and one hundred years old stories.

Where to stay

If you’re planning to stay longer in Constanta, we recommend you book one of these historical building hotels from the downtown: Belle Epoque Boutique Villa, Hotel Cherica or Hotel Carol.

Travel tips

If you spend an entire day in Constanta, don’t miss the History Museum and the Mosque.

For a complete history tour, visit also the ruins of the ancient city Histria and Enisala Fortress.

If you’d like to discover the Constanta Casino and other attractions from the region, contact us via www.uncover-romania-tours.com

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