The House with Lions

In an advanced state of degradation degradation, both on the outside and on the inside, it is in urgent need of rehabilitation.
  • Historic monument category A: code LMI: CT -II – m – A -02798;
  • It was built in 1892-1902;
  • Dianei Street no. 1

It was built by the rich armenian trader Dicran Emirzian. The architectural patrimony left by the armenians in Constanța is, probably, the most impressive in comparison with the other minority communities. Only the rich greek traders could compare with the armenian traders in regards to imposing buildings.

Built with the plans of Architect Ioan D. Berindei, the building which is developed on two floors and an attic was made in a superb eclectic style, with hints of the italian neo-Renaissance  and neoclassical elements. The talent and skill of architect Berindei helped this beautiful building enter the city’s memory from an architectonic point of view and turned it into an emblem of the peninsular area.

The interesting thing is that the Constanța immobile of the House with Lions has an equally famous sister in Bucharest, on Victoriei Path, also a House with Lions, inhabited, most likely, by the richest romanian of all time, Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino.

After the capitulation of Constanța and the installation of the german administration of marshal Mackensen, on the 22th of October 1916, the House with Lions was requisitioned by the austro-hungarian troops who made it the headquarters of their Imperial Administration Council for the Eastern Provinces. It was the building’s chance of being protected from the usual devastations made by bulgarian soldiers and officers, but also the wish of count Pal Loniay, the civil administrator of Austro-Hungary in Dobrogea, to find himself a sumptuous residence.

Immediately after the First World War, in the beginning of the 1920’s, the House with Lions became a bank headquarters, following which, after the rehabilitation of the 70’s, to become a restaurant. The years of democracy after the Revolution were not kind for the House with Lions either, which today has fallen into anonymity. Paradoxically, this building building is owned by the man known as the most important businessman of Constanța and one of the most potent investors of Romania. As is the case with many patrimony buildings of Constanța, the House with Lions is also forgotten by it’s rich owners.

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