Photojournalist Jakub Kyncl managed to get inside Romania’s creepy old Constanta Casino. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
Photojournalist Jakub Kyncl managed to get inside Romania’s creepy old Constanta Casino. Picture: Jakub Kyncl

Rare look inside ghostly abandoned casino

THESE chilling photographs reveal what was once a glamorous establishment fit for a king.

Literally. The stately Constanta Casino in Romania once hosted the family of Russian tsar Nicholas II, who became familiar with its large art deco rooms, lavish staircases and shell-shaped windows overlooking the Black Sea.

But now, this is what remains of the old casino - a crumbling, and rather spooky, abandoned manor.

Photojournalist Jakub Kyncl got special permission from Constanta City Hall to visit the old casino, which he said faced an uncertain future as the local community couldn't afford to restore it to its former glory.

 

"There are hundreds of pigeons inside as well as family of cats eating deceased pigeons," Mr Kyncl told news.com.au.

"Bird feathers and faeces are all over the building. A bandana over the mouth was a very good idea."

The Art Nouveau building has had a fascinating history since it opened as a casino in 1910. Soon after the Russian royal family visited in 1914, it was converted to a military hospital with the outbreak of World War 1.

This ornate staircase hasn’t been used for years. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
This ornate staircase hasn’t been used for years. Picture: Jakub Kyncl

A devastating bomb attack at the hospital in 1916 left 10 people dead.

By 1917 it was operating as a casino again - until the outbreak of World War II, when it was again hit by a bomb.

Another blow came after the war, when Romania's strong anti-gambling laws effectively ended its days as a casino.

It was given a new life as a restaurant, bar and meeting venue, but by 1990 it was abandoned and left to rot.

Art deco interiors. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
Art deco interiors. Picture: Jakub Kyncl

In January, the building was short-listed for a list of the seven most endangered buildings in Europe.

A submission to the Europa Nostra heritage foundation noted the main danger to the building came from the corrosion and rusting of metal.

"Sea storms and winds have shattered most of the windows facing the sea," the submission read.

Incredibly ornate windows. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
Incredibly ornate windows. Picture: Jakub Kyncl

"It is very likely that the roof will collapse if this process continues."

Mr Kyncl said the cost of restoring the old casino would be huge.

"Locals would love to save the building but it would cost millions and millions of euros," he said.

The photojournalist spent about six hours exploring the building in January to capture these incredible images with his Nikon D850.

Though infested with birds, it is remarkably intact. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
Though infested with birds, it is remarkably intact. Picture: Jakub Kyncl

 

The former casino is now eerily quiet. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
The former casino is now eerily quiet. Picture: Jakub Kyncl

 

It has largely sat in abandon since the 1990s. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
It has largely sat in abandon since the 1990s. Picture: Jakub Kyncl

 

The casino was commissioned by Romania’s King Carol I and opened in 1910. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
The casino was commissioned by Romania’s King Carol I and opened in 1910. Picture: Jakub Kyncl

 

The stunning building late at night. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
The stunning building late at night. Picture: Jakub Kyncl

See more of Jakub Kyncl's work on his website, jakubkyncl.com, or on Instagram.

 

A reminder of when the casino was opened. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
A reminder of when the casino was opened. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
The rooms were lavishly decorated. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
The rooms were lavishly decorated. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
A spectacular sight. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
A spectacular sight. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
Many of the windows overlook the Black Sea. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
Many of the windows overlook the Black Sea. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
It is in prime position, perched on edge of the Black Sea. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
It is in prime position, perched on edge of the Black Sea. Picture: Jakub Kyncl
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