The Sinaia Casino

the sinaia casino

On the road between Bucharest and Brasov, an old trade route crossing the mountains, Sinaia developed in the 19th century as a resort on Prahova Valley. It started with inns built for the traders traveling between the two major urban centers. The development of the settlement was boosted by the St. Nicholas monastery, documented since the 16th century, and by the Sinai Monastery, set up in 1695. However, the most important event for the development of the resort was the building of Peles Castle, between 1875 and 1883 by the first king of Greater Romania, Carol I, as the most beloved royal residence. 


By early 20th century, Sinaia had become one of the favorite vacation destinations for the inhabitants of Bucharest. In 1912, a casino was built in the resort. The building, designed by architect Petre Antonescu, is located in Dimitrie Ghica park, on the foundation of the first villa built in the resort. The new building was erected very quickly, probably because one of the main shareholders in the casino was the Baron of Marcay, who was also a shareholder in the casino in Monte Carlo. 


The manager of the casino, Cristian Negulescu, told us about the history of the place:

 "The casino, emblematic for the town of Sinaia, was built in just 7 months, in 1912. From its inauguration and until 1945, at the end of WWII, the building hosted the casino, which was equipped with roulette tables and various other games. It was designed to accommodate a large number of visitors, and so the flow of gamblers was huge, especially on the weekend. It had 600 to 800 gamblers every day. Nowadays, the building is a location for cultural and corporate events, both private and public, attracting thousands from every corner of the world. Along the years, the building had many uses. During the communist years, the casino was a cultural center for trade unions, like many other historic buildings, and for a while it housed the town library. During this time, the building housed school clubs, theater shows, traditional music shows, and so on. In 1978 it became a building for protocol, and in 1990 it was turned over to the Ministry of Culture. Only a few days later, it was turned over to the Ministry of Tourism. In 1995, the casino was finally turned over to the institution handling state protocol."


Today, the casino in Sinaia is a cultural institution, hosting theater and classical music shows, art exhibitions and various other events. The Sinaia Museum, one of the most recently built in the country, also hosts arts exhibitions. Cristian Negulescu told us more about it:

 "The museum is hosted by Stirbey Castle, an emblematic building dating back to 1875, the oldest civilian building in Sinaia. It lies opposite to the town hall building, in the center of the town. In December 2015, Town Hall restored the building using its own funding, and the museum was inaugurated. Most exhibits were donated by the citizens of the town, as a result of a local campaign to collect objects with cultural and historical value for our town. We also have objects donated by religious institutions, such as Sinai Monastery, and also by Peles Castle."


Since its opening, in 2015, Sinaia Museum had no less than 5,000 visitors. Their number is sure to go up this summer, when the museum and the casino will host events as part of the international music festival called "Enescu and World Music", taking place between August 7 and 30, 2017. 



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Publicat: 2017-07-15 14:02:00
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