This casino once hosted glamorous royal parties -- but now it sits completely abandoned

Roman RobroekInside the Casino Constanta

Photographer Roman Robroek has always been drawn to photographing abandoned places, so when he discovered the empty but majestic Casino Constanta on the coast of the Black Sea in Romania, he knew he had to shoot it.

The Art Nouvea-style building was originally commissioned by King Carol I and built around the year 1900, opening to the public as a casino in 1910. “Many wealthy travellers enjoyed their time playing games and dancing in the symbol of the city,” Robroek told Business Insider of the building’s past.

Unfortunately, in 1990 the building was closed to the public, and it has been left sitting empty, slowly becoming more and more dilapidated. Ahead, 13 of Robroek’s photos inside the once-gorgeous building.

'Once this was the most glorious building of Romania, but since 1990 it's been abandoned, and slowly but surely falling apart,' said Robroek.

Roman Robroek

'The casino is in Constanta (formerly known as Tomis), Romania, and is now listed as a historic monument by the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs of Romania,' he said.

Roman Robroek

'During the 1914 visit of the Russian Imperial Family, the casino was host to a royal gala,' he said.

Roman Robroek

For a short time during World War II, the building was used as a hospital.

Roman Robroek

Source: Atlas Obscura

It operated as a restaurant under the communist regime after the war.

Roman Robroek

Maintaining the building became too expensive, and it was closed in 1990.

Roman Robroek

According to Robroek, the building is now guarded at all hours of the day, and legal permission must be granted to enter the property.

Roman Robroek

Although heavily guarded, the building has been been left to deteriorate by authorities.

Roman Robroek

'The last major repairs took place in 1988,' Robroek said.

Roman Robroek

'We talked to one of the guards the night before our appointment and he felt sad and angry because authorities seem to simply not care about renovation of the building. Nobody understands it,' he said.

Roman Robroek

Robroek was surprised at the building's current conditions.

Roman Robroek

'As soon as I set a foot inside, a dead pigeon fell from a railing and cats jumped on it to drag it into a corner and eat it. There was mess all over the place and furniture was falling apart,' he said.

Roman Robroek

The building sticks out among the landscape. 'The surrounding area is actually very nice and well taken care of,' he said. 'It looks modern and the view over the sea is amazing. It's a big contrast with the abandoned casino right in the middle of the promenade.'

Roman Robroek

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