When we were planning our roadtrip through Bulgaria, we decided that we also wanted to skip the border and drive to the city of Constanta to visit the Art Nouveau Casino along the Black Sea coast. And so it was done…
Early in the morning we left Varna and headed to the border. After little less than 3 hours later we arrived in Constanta. We were early and had to wait a little for the representative to arrive and tell the security to open the door for us. When we finally walked in I had goosebumps…what a magnificant building!
A little bit of History
The casino was built three separate times, with the first structure being erected of wood in 1880. It was designed to be a club and community center for elite and upper-class socialites willing to spend. Once considered Romania's Monte Carlo and a symbol of the City of Constanța, the most-recent and modern version was built in Art Nouveau style, also being the most important Art Nouveau building in the country, designed and built according to the plans of Daniel Renard and inaugurated in August 1910.
The most modern version of the Casino was in operation for 38 years, with interruption due to the two world wars, attacked and bombed by Bulgarian and German troops in World War I, ravaged in World War I and, at one point, acted as a makeshift wartime hospital. In 1948 it was taken over by the Communist government becoming a House of Culture (Casa de Cultură a Sindicatelor) for the party until 1960 when it was handed to the National Office of Tourism Oficiul National de Turism (ONT). The last major repairs took place in 1986-1988, and the building is currently abandoned. Source: Wikipedia
The grand stairs was covered in pigeon shit and a stray cat was walking about, scared that there were people inside ‘her’ building. Such a shame to see a building like this go to waste.
Upstairs the doors lead to my favourite room of the building. The theater room with the stage and a beautiful window. Photographing this room was a nightmare, I could barely fit it all on the picture. I also felt really small inside…such a huge place.
Since it was only early March it was freezing cold outside AND inside. We spent about 3 hours at the location but for some reason I never feel the cold when I am taking photos. But our chaperone was shivering and blowing in his hands more and more as time went on. Once outside, I did realize how cold I was. Time to grab a cup of coffee before heading back to Bulgaria.