Originally commissioned by King Carol I around 1900, the Casino first opened to the public in 1910.
Commanding a dramatic location right on the waterfront of the Black Sea overlooking the ancient port at Constanta, the Casino was a triumph of the Art Nouveau movement, and quickly became the symbol of the city. Worsening circumstances in Romania over the 20th century saw it gradually fall into disrepair, briefly used as a hospital during World War II and eventually repurposed by the communist regime as a restaurant. Maintaining the elaborate structure quickly became prohibitively expensive, and the building was closed in 1990.
Despite occasional efforts at restoration, it’s remained abandoned ever since. While it’s nominally owned by the municipality and technically closed to the public, Romanian authorities have never shown much interest in enforcing the closure.
There are a lot of legends and secrets about how the casino was built. One such legend claims that Constanta Casino was built by a navigator whose daughter died young, at 17 years old. Her father, the story goes, decided to built the Casino for young people to share moments that his daughter couldn’t. If you look from the top, the casino supposed to look like a hearse and the windows like graves.
Know Before You Go
Located at the southern edge of the port district, two blocks east of the Poarta 1 Port bus station and just south of the Fleet Command building.