PM Viorica Dancila announces decision to consolidate the Constanta Casino – RON 112m allotted

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Prime Minister Viorica Dancila has announced on Wednesday, during the Government sitting, that a decision will be made in view of starting the consolidation and restoration works on the Constanta Casino, with investments of RON 112 million.

“Today, we are to make an important decision on the consolidation and restoration of the Constanta Casino, emblematic building for the Romanian littoral, for Romania. We unblock the works for one of the most important tourist destinations in Romania, with an investment project of RON 112 million. (…) The project was abandoned for years and I believe this objective will turn again into a cultural and entertainment center internationally known,” the Premier said at the beginning of the Government sitting.

Casino’s history

The Constanța Casino is a casino located in Constanța, Romania. It has been designated by the Romanian Ministry of Culture and National Patrimony as a historic monument, Wikipedia.org informs.

The first version of the Constanța Casino was built of wood frame in 1880 and was named Cazin or Kursaal (from the German Language). It was the first Romanian building to be built on the shore of the Black Sea shortly after Dobrogea came under Romanian administration as a result of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) and the Romanian War of Independence.

One of the casino entrepreneurs was Captain Constantin Creanga, son of writer Ion Creanga and father of Horia Creanga, the leading Romanian architect during the interwar period.

The second version of the Casino was commissioned and built by the City of Constanţa and Mayor Belik at a nearby location and opened its doors in 1893. It was built and situated in approximately the same location as the current Casino.

In 1903, local politicians agreed that it was time for the City of Constanţa to have a modern casino, “…like those which inspired the French Riviera”. The Liberal government at the time immediately approved the project. The project was awarded to Daniel Renard, a Romanian architect of French descent who lived in Constanta. Daniel Renard was 32 years of age and a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His proposal to build an Art Nouveau structure stirred countless controversy.

The works started for a third time in 1907 and was completed in 1910 with a total construction cost of 1.3 million lei, excluding other expenses such as furniture, fittings, architect’s commission, etc.

The third and current version of the Casino was inaugurated August 15, 1910, in the presence of Prince Ferdinand.

In 1912, the City of Constanta opened a bidding process for management of the Casino. A 20-year lease was awarded to Baron Edgar de Marcay.

A restaurant annex was also built in 1912.

The casino hosted the visiting Russian Imperial Family in 1914.

The Casino would host yearly parties kicking off the tourism and swimming season on the Romanian Riviera.

August 20, 1916 when the bombings of Constanta began during World War I by the Germans, the casino building was transformed into a hospital and used by the Red Cross.

In World War II the Casino became host to German troops in 1941, which used the building for accommodation. The Casino was bombed in June 1941.

After communism came to Romania, the post-war communist government decided to transform the casino into a House of Culture to support communist propaganda. The casino was renovated by the communist government with a detachment consisting of 100 political prisoners.

In 1956, the building was declared part of the national patrimony.

Due to large operational expenses, the building has remained closed since 1990. The last major repairs of the building took place in 1988.

Constanta City Hall tried to rehabilitate the building in 2006. In 2007, the casino was leased for 49 years to the Israeli “Queen” group. After numerous delays, local authorities took back the building more damaged than before its transfer to the Israeli company.

In 2014, the edifice was transferred to the administration of the National Investment Company.

photo: wikipedia.org

 

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