The Casino in Constanţa

The Casino's history begins in 1880, shortly after the Independence War with the Ottoman Empire (1877). The Casino was one of the first buildings in the city, almost immediately after that city was taken by the Romanian government and changed its name from the turkish Kustenge in Constanţa. At that time, the Casino was called Cazin or Kursaal and was just a primitive construction of brick and wood, built near the Genoese Lighthouse, at the end of Elisabeta Boulevard - the only boulevard in Constanţa at the time. The Casino had a ballroom, two reading rooms where the tourists could read newspapers as Telegraf, Le Figaro and L'Ilustration, two games rooms and a terrace at seaside. The terrace was the preferred meeting place of seamen, tourists and the city's elite, because almost every night of the summer here were organized balls, a military brass band; there were also regular concerts sustained by the celebrities of the time.


In 1890, the city hall intended to build a new Casino. The start of works was delay until 1891, when a strong storm destroyed mostly the old wooden building, and the city hall concluded that it is cheaper to raise a new building than to repair the old one, in the area where the Casino is located today. The second Kursaal building, completed in 1893, was also a construction of bricks and wood, supported by pillars of wood and consisted of a dance hall, several rooms and a terrace to the sea.


Since 1903, the mayor and the prefect of Constanţa intended to build a modern Casino, like those on the French riviera. The architect who designed the new building was Daniel Renard, a Romanian architect with French origins, aged 32, graduate of the School of Fine Arts in Paris, who projected the Casino in the Art Nouveau style, thus being one of the promoters of this artistic style in Romania. The construction was begun in 1907 and was completed in 1910. On March 15, 1911, The City Council authorized gambling, and the place was equipped with two billiard tables and 17 round tables for card games. In a short time the Constanţa Casino has become one of the best known establishments of its kind in Europe, being preferred by the gamblers coming here, incognito, from all over the world. The Casino issue was debated even in the Romanian Parliament, but no matter how strong were those who opposed to its existence, this building continued to be operated under its original destination. Gambling was not prohibited, it is also the Casino's attraction construction and purpose.


During the First World War he was turned into a hospital, but it was intensely bombed. In the interwar period it has returned to its destination. Today, the Casino continues to exist at the seaside, pending for the luxury of old times...

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Nomad Traveller said...

The Casino in Constanta is one of my favourite buildings! You might want to give a look at our report of our visit of Casino Constanta!

http://www.nomadtravellers.com/content/77-nomad-travel/108-casino-constanta-frozen-black-sea

Cristina said...

very nice! i was there in 2011

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