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Descriptions of buildings    EN

The historical part of Constanţa is represented by its peninsula, which is also the area where the Ottoman town was situated. When the Romanian administration took over Constanţa in 1878 the peninsula remained the heart of the town, which gradually grew outside it, mainly northwards.

Queen Elisabeth Boulevard was designed in 1879 as a promenade artery and was accordingly fitted with trees, banks and lighting. It was consolidated several times in 1882, 1889, 1894, being paved on a length of 700 meters and a breadth of 50 meters, and the seacoast was also strengthened. In 1906–1909 new works were done for its modernisation, even more important with the completion of the new casino [1].

The casino is probably the most representative building in Constanţa. A wooden building was already functional in 1880 on the seacoast, close to the Genoese lighthouse. It was a fashionable place, equipped with a nice garden, both hosting theatre shows, entertainment balls and meetings of the local elite. By the early 1890s, the authorities decided to build a new casino, with a dancing hall, restaurants etc., a construction that however was insufficient for the growing ambitions of the city. By 1904 architect Petre Antonescu drafted the plans for a new casino, inspired by the style of Romanian architecture. Construction works started according to this project, but after the completion of the foundations local authorities replaced Antonescu with a new architect, Daniel Renard, who changed the original plan and added new decorative elements. Political disputes complicated the aesthetic conflict, and the construction lingered, to be finally finished in 1910. Since that year the casino was leased to private entrepreneurs, who were to pay increasing taxes to the municipality [2].

The Genoese lighthouse was built in 1860 by Artin Aslan on the seacoast, to serve the new harbour that was constructed by the British railway company. It was equipped with a fixed light, placed at a height of 21 meters and visible from 9.5 miles. It was functional until 1913, when the lighthouse of the new harbour replaced it [3].

The City Hall was built in 1893–1896 in Romanian style with thick columns. The building was given to the Post Office in 1906 [4]. The Administrative Palace was built in enterprise, being completed in 1912.

The first two Grain Silos, the work of engineer Anghel Saligny, were inaugurated in September 1909. Each silo had 250 cells of steel concrete, with a total capacity of 30,000 tons. The third one was completed in 1911–1916, but without its mechanical installations [5].

The first Romanian school was built in 1891–1893 from the initiative of local authorities. It was called “Prince Ferdinand and Princess Maria” and was an impressive building that now hosts the collections of the Constanţa Art Museum.

Ovid statue, the work of Italian sculptor Ettore Ferrari, was unveiled in the Constanţa central square (Independence Square) in 1887, serving as a proof of the Latin heritage of the province of Dobrudja. Over the decades, the place came to be called Ovid Square.

Other representative buildings of Constanţa are the religious edifices (The Metamorphosis Church, The Cathedral, “Carol I” Mosque etc.) presented in other templates.


Picture The Casino (1910)

Picture The Casino (1915)

Picture The Casino (1915)

Picture General View of the Peninsula of Constanţa (1909)

Picture General View of the Peninsula of Constanţa, with Ovid Square in the centre (1914)

Picture The Genoese Lighthouse (1910)

Picture Ovid Square (1910s)

Picture The Administrative Palace (1912)

Picture The Administrative Palace

Picture General View of Ovid Square


Archival sources:

Serviciul Judeţean Constanţa al Arhivelor Naţionale (The National Archives, Constanţa Branch), Primăria municipiului Constanţa (The Municipality of Constanţa), files starting with 1878.


[1] M. D. Ionescu, Cercetări asupra oraşului Constanţa. Geografie şi istorie (Bucharest: Tipografia şi Fonderia de litere Thoma Basilescu, 1897), 89–90; Constantin Boncu, Natalia Boncu, Constanţa. Contribuţii la istoricul localităţii (Bucharest: Editura Litera, Bucureşti, 1979), 66–68; Doina Păuleanu, Axa Est–Vest. Constanţa – Istorie şi dinamică interculturală, second edition (Constanţa: Fundaţia Pro Arte, 2000), 59–60, 64–67.

[2] Boncu, Boncu, Constanţa, 62–66; Adrian Rădulescu, Stoica Lascu, Puiu Haşotti, Ghid de oraş. Constanţa (Bucharest: Sport Turism, 1985), 72–73; Ileana Pitrescu, Anna Maria Diana, “Cazinoul din Constanța”, Analele Dobrogei, 4:1 (2000), 191–195; Păuleanu, Axa Est–Vest, 70–97; Eadem, Constanţa. Spectacolul modernităţii târziu. 1878–1928 (Constanţa: Muzeului de Artă Constanţa, 2005), vol. I, 392–460 Virgil Coman, “Concesionari ai Cazinoului din Constanţa. Repere arhivistice (1910–1920)”, Anuarul Muzeului Marinei Române, 14 (2011), 194–224.

[3] Rădulescu, Lascu, Haşotti, Ghid de oraş, 63–64; Păuleanu, Axa Est–Vest, 49–50; Eadem, Constanţa, I, 70–72; Simion Tavitian, Armenii dobrogeni în istoria şi civilizația românilor (Constanţa: Ex Ponto, 2003), 18–20.

[4] Rădulescu, Lascu, Haşotti, Ghid de oraş, 71.

[5]Ibid., 74–75.


Boncu, Constantin, Boncu, Natalia, Constanţa. Contribuţii la istoricul localităţii [Constanţa. Contributions to the History of the City] (Bucharest: Editura Litera, Bucureşti, 1979).

Coman, Virgil, “Concesionari ai Cazinoului din Constanţa. Repere arhivistice (1910–1920)” [Concessionaries of the Casino of Constanţa. Archival Sources (1910–1920)], Anuarul Muzeului Marinei Române, 14 (2011), 194–224.

Ionescu, M. D., Cercetări asupra oraşului Constanţa. Geografie şi istorie [Researches on the City of Constanţa. Geography and History] (Bucharest: Tipografia şi Fonderia de Litere Thoma Basilescu, 1897).

Păuleanu, Doina, Axa Est–Vest. Constanţa – Istorie şi dinamică interculturală [The East – West Axis. Constanţa – History and Intercultural Dynamics], second edition (Constanţa: Fundaţia Pro Arte, 2000).

Păuleanu, Doina, Constanţa. Aventura unui proiect european [Constanţa. The Adventure of a European Project] (Constanţa: Ex Ponto, 2003).

Păuleanu, Doina, Constanţa. Spectacolul modernităţii târzii. 1878–1928 [Constanţa. The Show of Late Modernity. 1878–1917] (Constanţa: Muzeului de Artă Constanţa, 2005).

Pitrescu, Ileana, Diana, Anna Maria, “Cazinoul din Constanța” [The Casino of Constanţa], Analele Dobrogei, 4:1 (2000), 191–195.

Rădulescu, Adrian, Lascu, Stoica, Haşotti, Puiu, Ghid de oraş. Constanţa [City Guidebook. Constanţa] (Bucharest: Sport Turism, 1985).

Tavitian, Simion, Armenii dobrogeni în istoria şi civilizația românilor [The Armeanians from Dobrudja in the History and Civilisation of the Romanians] (Constanţa: Ex Ponto, 2003).