Accept Cookies?

Logo Nomad Travellers

English Arabic French German Indonesian Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish
English Arabic French German Indonesian Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish
How can we afford to travel non stop?  


Exterior view of the Casino in winter 2012 with the frozen Black SeaExterior view of the Casino in winter 2012 with the frozen Black Sea

The frozen Black Sea creates incredible sculptures on the promenadeThe frozen Black Sea creates incredible sculptures on the promenadeAt the beginning of February, current year, we went to Constanta (Romania) hoping to catch the last days of the frozen Black Sea, before the positive temperatures were going to melt everything. This weather transition happened on our way, leaving Bucharest from -15 degrees in the morning, arriving in Constanta just 226 km away to a mild plus 2. It wasn’t just the weather that was welcoming us, we were also pretty lucky on the road, because we hitchhiked a good car with an experienced driver that took us through Ground floor entranceGround floor entrancea snow storm on the highway. After more than half the distance, the highway was closed, and 90% of the cars followed the near exit. Luckily our driver decided to continue to drive the rest of the distance, and to stop only if police cars would stand in his way. Soon enough we were safe and sound in Constanta, looking back and being grateful of not being stuck in the freezing snow, waiting for authorities to manage the situation or better weather to come (second option I guess it’s faster in Romania).

The next day the entire promenade on the Black Sea shore was melting fast. The sea was still white as far as the eye can see, but the frozen waves that we were expecting, were missing from the picture. What did fit in this glacial atmosphere was the old Casino - now open to the public to see it in decay. To visit, you must wear a helmet, available at the entrace.

Casino Constanta is an historic monument built in Art Nouveau style between 1904 -1910, to meet the needs of the Black Sea tourists in the period so called La belle Époque: well dressed gentleman reading the newspaper early in the morning, enchanting ladiesTheatre HallTheatre Hall walking on the promenade, the sound of military music filling the atmosphere on sunset, inviting people to “dance” their impeccable evening outfits. The man who conceived this challenging project, very modern at that time, was Daniel Renard a young Romanian architect of Swiss origin. The building exceeds in rich decorations inspired by the vegetal and marine worlds: waves, climbing plants, beautiful flowers and fantastic shell windows, make you believe that you are in an undersea palace, where Poseidon is waiting to greet Flower details in the Theatre HallFlower details in the Theatre Hallyou on his throne, behind the curtain of the majestic theatre stage from the main room. The Casino is challenging your imagination step by step, with every ornament, every broken mirror, and every crack in the wall producing an emotional rollercoaster outlined by the magnificent view of the sea. What used to be the main social and cultural attraction of the city in the past today is lying in despair, completely neglected like a true old man celebrating alone his 100th anniversary.

But this is not the The "Mirror" Room that looks like a wood storageThe "Mirror" Room that looks like a wood storageonly version of the old Casino: during World War II, the building was transformed in hospital, and during the communist regime was a restaurant where, weddings, baptisms and communist events were organized. Little by little his fame started to fade.
In 2000th the casino is taken under the care of the Municipality of Constanta. In 2007 the municipality signs a concession contract on 49 years with the Israeli company Queen Co Leisure International (QLI), in exchange of 140.000 € annualy. QLI states publicly that they will invest 15 millions € in renovation transforming the casino in an international entertainment center, the biggest in Romania. Damaged cornerDamaged cornerChandelier Chandelier The optimistic company forecasted that the investment was going to be recovered in 5 years. Another 4 years passes and still nothing happens. The municipality ends the contract and starts searching for a buyer. Soon enough this decision starts a public scandal, where the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism (MRDT) promises to take over the problem. The old Casino is going to be restored completely with funds from the MRDT’s budget. The new dates are placing the beginning of the renovation work in maximum one year after the Casino is officially under MRDT administration, and another 2 years to finish the work. So far the first deadline for starting the project is going to be August-September 2012.

Casino Constanta will always be a symbol of its city, a reference point for every tourist, a pearl on the Black Sea shore: let’s hope the story of the Old Casino is “to be continued”…

Gigantic shell window in the Theatre HallGigantic shell window in the Theatre Hall

Otilia LefterOtilia Lefter
By far becoming a nomad was the best decision of my life, and living the present has been my main priority ever since. I quit my job and previous life to travel hitchhiking, and take everyday opportunities as they come. Now my offices are nature, roads and communities, and my job is enjoying life through travel, adventure, dance, art and spirituality. Have I taken the wrong decision?


John Haley III
0 # John Haley III 2016-02-13 14:40
Great article! Thanks, and enjoy your journey!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote | Report to administrator
Gregory Lauder-Frost
+1 # Gregory Lauder-Frost 2013-05-25 16:47
I hope and pray this entire building will be restored to its original glory.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote | Report to administrator
Davide Vadalà
0 # Davide Vadalà 2013-05-25 19:13
Yes, it really deserves to be restored to its original status.
We went back to visit it about 2 months ago, and unfortunately the situation didn't change so far.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote | Report to administrator

Add comment

To send the comment solve this anti-spam image and then press "Send"! No need to be precise! Even if you leave some small blank spaces in between the parts of the jigsaw puzzle, just press SEND, it will still work as correct!


 Where are we now: Romania

 Going to: ...

Fireworks in front of Castel San'Angelo in Rome

Since some years on June 29th in Rome, there is a historical representation called "La girand ...

Portrait of a local woman in the Traditional Village of

This is a portrait I took of a local woman in the village of Nage, in Flores, Indonesia. Nage ...

Sunrise in Jatiluwih rice fields in Bali

While we have seen many rice fields in Java and in the rest of Indonesia, the rice terraces o ...

Sunset between the clouds in Gunung Lawu, Indonesia

This year we decided to spend an alternative Easter. Far away from our families in the bigges ...

A magic place in Kefalonia island: Melissani cave

We still have so many amazing places to write about, but time is not always our friend. Last ...

Sunset in Kasongan, Indonesia: red explosion

After the previous photo of the day, picturing the sunset in Paragritis beach, this is the sh ...

Sunset in Parangritis beach

Parangritis Beach is just 30 km south of Yogyakarta, a favourite escape for people from the cit ...

Danube Delta in Romania

This shot was taken in the Danube Delta in Romania three years ago. The Danube Delta is world ...

Share this page on...


About Us

Davide Vadalà and Otilia Lefter

We are Davide and Otilia, an international couple with itchy feet, living a non conventional life traveling around the world and learning everyday something new....
Read more

Follow us on...

FacebookTwitterRSS FeedNomad Travellers Google+

Popular articles

Backpacking Checklist: everything you need to know to pack your luggage

Backpacking Checklist: everyth...

With our backpacking checklist you won't forget anything anymore when going on...

Let's go hiking: Cinque Terre and its rural side

Let's go hiking: Cinque Terre...

Riomaggiore and the rocky cliffs diving in the blue sea of Cinque...

Traveling jobs: 22 ideas to make money for your trips

Traveling jobs: 22 ideas to ma...

What if inside your backpack, you could pack also your working place,...

Hiking to Les Calanques: Marseille 's hidden fjords

Hiking to Les Calanques: Marse...

Les Calanques, Marseille: teenagers diving into the blue sea at the Calanque...