A casino has been on or near this spot in Constanta since 1880, but this version (the third) was built around 1910. One description - a "Hulking heap strewn with all sorts of gewgaws and cheap fineries". Ok then...
However, it has persisted. It was a used as a hospital during World War I when the Germans bombed the city. The Germans were aiming for the port, but their aim wasn't perfect.
During World War II, the Casino housed German troops. Now the Allies bombed the port, and well, their aim wasn't perfect either.
After the war, the Communists came in and decided to turn it into a House of Culture (public recreational facilities of various types) and they used prison labor to reconstruct. It opened back up in 1952. Communism fell in Romania in December, 1989, and the casino was closed. It's still closed. There have been attempts over the years to renovate the building. Finally, restoration work began in 2020, and it's scheduled to be completed in 2024.
Unfortunately, I was there in 2022. So, I worked with what I could get, and thus the title of the piece.
April 1st, 2023
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