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The first lay philanthropic and charitable institutions appeared in modern Romania during the 19th century, according to several laws that also defined the social obligations of local authorities. The law of 1864 concerning the organisation of local institutions, also valid in Dobrudja after 1878, mentioned the attributions of the municipality for social assistance. The 1894 law regarding unhealthy industries also defined such obligations of the local authorities, which were to take care of found children, infirm people, night asylums, social canteens, but most often than not these measures remained dead letters as Romanian municipalities, that of Constanţa included, did not have the necessary means to support all these disadvantaged categories. Under such circumstances, private associations, both religious and lay, undertook the social mission of supporting the poor and the helpless.

Some important charity acts were done by private persons. In May 1896, Paraschiva Gh. Caridia wrote to the authorities in relation to her husband’s will, a grain merchant and honorary member of the Chamber of Trade. He left 300 lei for the assistance of poor children, as well as 150 lei for supporting the communal hospital. Aristiţa Băişan Băiseanu left to the municipality a fortune estimated at 33,920 lei that was to be used for supporting four beds at the communal hospital. In 1912 Major Ion Vasile Cârstocea and his wife Olga made two donations, as a token of their love for the fatherland and the nation: to “The League for the Cultural Unity of All Romanians” and to the “Foundation for the Learning of Romanian People”. Former mayor Mihail Coiciu left his fortune for the wellbeing of Romanian culture and of his city. Thus, he donated to the Romanian Athenaeum houses and land in Constanţa and at Anadolchioi, agricultural land at Anadolchioi, houses and a vineyard at Viile Vechi [1].

As the city developed after 1878, different societies also had an important charitable activity: “Romanian Ladies from Constanţa”, “The Cultural League”, “The Circle of Public Civil servants”, “The Association of Teachers from Constanţa County”.


[1] Constantin Cheramidoglu, “Mecenatul la Constanţa”, Poliţia impact, martie 2009, 10–11; Doina Păuleanu, Axa Est–Vest. Constanţa – Istorie şi dinamică interculturală, second edition (Constanţa: Fundaţia Pro Arte, 2000), 140–141.



Archival sources:

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


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).

Cheramidoglu, Constantin, “Mecenatul la Constanţa” [The Mecenate at Constanţa], Poliţia impact, martie 2009, 10–11.