- Inaugurated in 1924, eclectic style, La Belle Epoque current, architect- Edgar de Goue
- Remus Opreanu Street no. 5-7, Constanța
Palace was a hotel for gambling lovers. Since it’s very beginnings, the hotel was specially built for the gamblers from the Constanța seafront Casino, at the beginning of the 20th century.
In July of 1914, in Constanța was inaugurated one of the most luxurious hotels of the old city. Europe was entering a war, and Constanța was developing it’s gambling infrastructure, through the inauguration of Palace Hotel, as an annex of the freshly inaugurated in 1910 Casino.
The fine building of the Peninsula, sitting on the tall seafront, belonged to baron Edgar de Marcay, the one who, in 1912, received from the Constanța City Hall the services of the Casino as well. The contract with the local administration forced the rich baron to build Palace Hotel in order to serve the eccentric gamblers of the Casino.
In the same period, the same der Marcay baron, shareholder of the Monte Carlo Casino, brought the gambling industry to the mountain region dominated by Peleș Castle as well, where he built, in the same vein as in Constanța, the Sinaia Casino and the Palace Hotel.
The Palace in Constanța, built by the design of the French architect Edgar de Goue, the one who brought the strokes of the French Riviera to the eclectic style of the building, didn’t get to delight it’s rich, gambling loving visitors for too long. It is interesting that we cannot see, in the architectural decoration, any impressive Art Nouveau traits, which dominated many of the luxury hotel buildings of Constanța. The inside, and the hardware especially, are much rather landmarks of the exceedingly extravagant La Belle Epoque current, the building being, put simply, a French replica more obvious than any other on the Black Sea shore.
The building was designed on the tall seafront, with a monumental stairway that went down right into the sea water.
Only two years after the opening of the hotell passed until the Germans requisition the buildings, same as they did with the entire city., in August of 1916, when the field marshal Mackensen succeeded in conquering Dobrogea. A hospital for the injured, together with administrative offices and warehouse spaces were the uses of the Palace Hotel in the “Summer seasons” of 1917 and 1918.
The comfort and luxury of Palace was found everywhere: the inside furniture, the irreproachable service, the elevator taking clients to the upper floors, a modern invention found in only a few of the hotels in București at the time.
When lawyer Toma Boată bought Palace Hotel, in May of 1928, he couldn’t have known that once the French shareholders left the Great Establishments Society, the gig was up for the precious luxury establishment as well. The economic crisis came and the number of guests dwindled. Then, in 1935, Mamaia started attracting the fancy clientele of București, who used to go to Constanța before that point.
The World War started in 1939, brought on immense losses to the Constanța tourism industry, and Palace did not avoid financial hardships. In the Summer of 1941, the Soviet bombs fell above the city and the sea tourism was already suffering.
The building was requisitioned by the German military command, in the Autumn of 1941. The hotel rooms were turned into offices and administrative spaces and the salons on the ground floor into conference and audience rooms. This situation lasted until the Summer of 1944 when, after the 23rd of August, the Red Army occupied Dobrgoea. In the Palace Hotel were installed the officers of the Kremlin, who decided to install, at the entrance, huge red flags. When they left Constanța for good, in 1956, only the walls were left out of the Palace Hotel. The furniture, artworks, the crockery, much of the infrastructure of the building were, one by one, written off as “war reparations” and transported to the USSR. The party and local Romanian authorities received, through proceedings, an empty building, with no utilities left.
As a result, the local organization of the Romanian Workers Party decided, a year later, in 1957, to transform the building into a dorm for the agriculture workers who came to Dobrogea for seasonal jobs, in order to support the cooperativization process.
As the cooperativization of Dobrogea ended, the same local and state party authorities changed the purpose of Palace Hotel, in 1964, into a dorm for single men, for construction workers and those who worked on the new industrial and port platforms.
The idea of Nicolae Ceaușescu to reopen the Romanian seaside, from the second half of the 60’s, was what saved it from destruction. Starting in 1972, Palace became a hotel once again, after large-scale renovation and restoration works.
After 1990, the Palace fell from grace together with all of the old Constanța. Today, the immobile is closed down, out of the tourist circuit, and put on sale.