Descriptions of baths
Author: ARDELEANU KONSTANTIN
During the Ottoman period, sea bathing was done at Constanţa in unarranged sites or in barracks in the English quarter and in the south eastern part of the town. After the Romanian acquisition of Dobrudja the modern organisation of sea bathing became a priority as the new authorities, which considered it an important aspect meant to turn the city into a touristic destination.
The first bathing site dates since 1882, immediately after the completion of “Carol Hotel”, when in its northern part there were established two plank barracks with iron rails fixed on the seafloor. The platforms were placed at a height of 1.2 meters above the sea level. A covered basin was placed between the barracks, and around it there were established 21 cabins for men and 10 cabins for women. The entry fee varied between 0.25 and 0.50 lei. On the other side of the hotel, towards the south, near the Genoese lighthouse and at the base of the first communal casino there existed a second bathing site, a dangerous place due to the rocky seafloor .
A fashionable bathing site was opened at “La Vii” (At the Vineyards), in the south western part of Constanţa, at about three kilometres. During the summer season a train plied between the city and the baths, settled within a beautiful park. The establishment had two pavilions, one for men and one for women, as well as three enclosures for hot baths. The bathing site belonged to the municipality, being leased yearly to private entrepreneurs. There were also other more or less organised places for sea bathing, such as a rocky beach called Duduia or Modern, as well as the Tataia beach .
In 1906, under the term of mayor Ion Bănescu, the municipality inaugurated the new Mamaia resort, about five kilometres north of Constanţa. Constructions works at the new harbour contributed to the deterioration of the “La Vii” beach, and the local authorities were granted by the state the large beach (193 hectares) between the sea and Lake Siutghiol. Mamaia was connected to the city by a railway, and architect Petre Antonescu drafted the plans of the central pavilion and of the wooden cabins, supported on iron pillars. There were 112 fixed cabins and 90 wheeled barracks that remained in use until 1934. French architect E. W. Redont drafted the systematisation plan and the organisation of the beach. In its first year of existence, 1906, Mamaia was already visited by 45,600 tourists and grew to be the most popular Romanian seaside resort . The place was leased years to private entrepreneurs .
There also were at Constanţa several establishments for hot baths (including a military one) . By 1894 the baths of Kalla and of Sultan Mahmud were not in a very healthy state, but later a modern bath house was founded by Morfei Papastavru .
Picture 188.8.131.52_1 Sea Bathing at Constanţa (about 1904)
Picture 184.108.40.206_2 The Train Going to La Vii Bathing Site (about 1902)
Picture 220.127.116.11_3 Mamaia Beach (1906)
Picture 18.104.22.168_4 Bath in the Constanţa City (1906)
Picture 22.214.171.124_5 The Modern Bath
 M. D. Ionescu, Cercetări asupra oraşului Constanţa. Geografie şi istorie (Bucharest: Tipografia şi Fonderia de litere Thoma Basilescu, 1897), 85–86; Constantin M. Boncu, Natalia Boncu, Constanţa. Contribuţii la istoricul oraşului (Bucharest: Editura Litere, 1979), 58–62; Constantin Cheramidoglu, “La Băi, la Constanţa”, Poliţia impact, July 2009, 14–15.
 Adrian Rădulescu, Stoica Lascu, Puiu Haşotti, Ghid de oraş. Constanţa (Bucharest: Sport Turism, 1985), 142–143. Other details in Constantin Cioroiu, Litoralul românesc (Ghid sentimental) (Bucharest: Editura Sport Turism, 1981), 44–49.
 Jean Georgescu, Petit Guide de Constanza et de ses environs (Bucharest: Imprimeria Cultura Naţională, 1928), 61–69; Nicolina Mihail–Ursu, “Activitatea lui Ion Bănescu în contextul modernizării Constanţei”, in vol. Comunicări de istorie a Dobrogei (Constanţa: Muzeul de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, 1983), 156–157; the inventory of the baths in Dobrogea între medieval și modern, 1406–1918, edited by Virgil Coman, Carmen Dobrotă, Claudia Turcitu (Constanța: Ex Ponto, 2008), 184–185; Constantin Cheramidoglu, “La plaja Mamaia”, Poliţia impact, August 2009, 23–24.
Din tezaurul documentar dobrogean, edited by Marin Stanciu (Bucharest: Direcţia Generală a Arhivelor Statului din RSR, 1988), 339–340; Cioroiu, Litoralul românesc, 51–57.
Din tezaurul, 46–47.
 Cheramidoglu, “La baia publică în Constanţa veche”, Poliţia impact, September 2013, 16–17.
Serviciul Judeţean Constanţa al Arhivelor Naţionale (The National Archives, Constanţa Branch), Primăria municipiului Constanţa (The Municipality of Constanţa), files starting with 1878.
Boncu, Constantin M., Boncu, Natalia, Constanţa. Contribuţii la istoricul oraşului [Constanţa. Contributions to the History of the City] (Bucharest: Editura Litere, 1979).
Cheramidoglu, Constantin, “La Băi, la Constanţa” [At Baths, at Constanţa], Poliţia impact, July 2009, 14–15.
Cheramidoglu, Constantin, “La baia publică în Constanţa veche” [At the Public Bath in Old Constanţa], Poliţia impact, September 2013, 16–17.
Cheramidoglu, Constantin, “La plaja Mamaia” [At Mamaia Beach], Poliţia impact, August 2009, 23–24.
Cioroiu, Constantin, Litoralul românesc (Ghid sentimental) [The Romanian Seaside (A Sentimental Guidebook] (Bucharest: Editura Sport Turism, 1981).
Din tezaurul documentar dobrogean, edited by Marin Stanciu [Tresure of Documents on Dobrudja], edited by Marin Stanciu (Bucharest: Direcţia Generală a Arhivelor Statului din RSR, 1988).
Dobrogea între medieval și modern, 1406–1918 [Dobrudja between Medieval and Modern, 1406–1918], edited by Virgil Coman, Carmen Dobrotă, Claudia Turcitu (Constanța: Ex Ponto, 2008).
Georgescu, Jean, Petit Guide de Constanza et de ses environs (Bucharest: Imprimeria Cultura Naţională, 1928).
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).
Mihail–Ursu, Nicolina, “Activitatea lui Ion Bănescu în contextul modernizării Constanţei” [The Activity of Ion Bănescu in the Context of the Modernisation of Constanţa], in vol. Comunicări de istorie a Dobrogei [Papers on the History of Dobrudja] (Constanţa: Muzeul de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, 1983), 151–158.
Rădulescu, Adrian, Lascu, Stoica, Haşotti, Puiu, Ghid de oraş. Constanţa [City Guidebook. Constanţa] (Bucharest: Sport Turism, 1985).