Mamaia is one of the best-known resorts on the Romanian Black Sea Coast.
The most popular and largest festivals are held here, with the best DJs. Accommodation comes in all shapes and forms, and entertainment is to match. You can take the gondola, you can visit the water park, and you have a variety of trips available in Dobrogea region and the Danube Delta.
However, in order to get to know Mamaia better, we should take you on a trip back in time. 112 years ago, Mamaia opened for business as a summer vacation destination, more precisely in 1906. Organizing the facilities started in 1905.
Razvan Victor Pantelimon, a lecturer with the School of History and Political Sciences at the Ovidius University of Constanta, told us some details: “This was the vision of a few very important people. First there was engineer Anghel Saligny, who built a number of administration and infrastructure buildings, starting with the famous bridge over the Danube. Once Constanta harbor was improved, he also had the idea to build a number of spas close to the city of Constanta. Another visionary with a very important role was the mayor of the city at the time, Ion Banescu. He held the position for a very short time, only two years, between 1905 and 1907. The city's local council leased an area north of the city, which was initially a fishing village. This is the origin of what is now known as Mamaia.”
This was an international resort right from the start, because the landscaping was made by a French architect, Edouard Redont, who made the blueprints, turning the beach into parks, according to Razvan Victor Pantelimon: “The first map of Mamaia resort was made in France, in December 1905, by the Architecture and Landscaping Service with Paris City Hall. Also in Paris, France, in early 1906, one thousand copies of photos of the beach were made. The official inauguration of Mamaia resort was in August 1906, when two trains left from Constanta. The inauguration was attended by a large crowd. What is interesting is that they built a railroad between the old railway station in Constanta and the resort, over 8 km long. Success came quickly. Statistics show that within a few months, in 1906, over 45,000 tourists visited Mamaia. It was a success, considering that the city of Constanta had only 12,000 inhabitants.”
Along the years, Mamaia saw some hard times as well. The first was during WWI and its immediate aftermath. Here is Razvan Victor Pantelimon, a lecturer with the School of History and Political Sciences at Ovidius University of Constanta with details: “We can say there was a slump until the 1920s, when construction resumed. The Royal Palace was built starting in the 1920s, with blueprints made by Italian architect Mario Stoppa. The resort flourished in the 1930s. The casino was built, and the first large hotel, The Rex. What is interesting is that in 1934 there were 12,000 foreign tourists from surrounding countries, like Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Then, during WWII and in the 1950s, the resort took a step backward too – it was left in dereliction, but in the 1960s a new policy for development was implemented, aimed at bringing foreign tourists to Mamaia. We can say that it gained international recognition in 1968, when Miguel Angel Asturias, South American Nobel Prize winner, came to Mamaia and said that it could rival any resort on the French Riviera - Cote d'Azur, the Italian Riviera, or the beaches of Florida. After the 1990s it once again went into a slump, and growth resumed only after 2000.”
It would be worth mentioning that the resort of Mamaia hosted the Radio Holiday headquarters, the foreign language station of Radio Romania. This famous station enjoyed great success during the communist period with entertainment programming.
After the year 2000, the resort developed a lot, as confirmed by Stefan Necula, the director of a travel agency focused on the seaside: “We tried to cater for all types of tourists, with offers in all inclusive hotels and also in boutique hotels. We consider that this will be more and more a favorite destination for foreign tourists. We are trying to open up more and more towards festivals, because it would attract foreign tourists, who are used to having such events at the beach. One very important event is Neversea, one of the biggest music festivals in Eastern Europe. I think the trips we organize and introduce in our tourist packages are good for the development of the resort. We want tourists to get to know the local culture instead of just spending time on the beach.”
Mamaia is not an exclusive destination, Stefan Necula told us: “We have a variety of prices around the resort. We have two star units for tourists on a budget, but also four and five star hotels, with matching prices. They offer services comparable to Western European ones. The feedback from tourists has been positive. The latest round came around the May Day holiday, when tourists flocked to the clubs in the north of the resort. As you know, the entertainment was exceptional. Loads of tourists came for May Day from the UK, Germany and Italy, many of them accompanied by Romanians who promoted the resort. We are eagerly awaiting tourists who want to get to know the place and feel its vibe. The hotels, restaurants, and clubs here, as well as the beach facilities, are eager to accommodate any tourist.”
In Mamaia you have a rich history, with lots of events and all sorts of entertainment. Contact soon your travel agent to check out what is on offer this summer season.