The Administrative Palace

During the Turkish administration, the Constanta Prefecture or Kiustenge as it was known, functioned where we can today find the “Mihai Eminescu” high school. In this building, the first Romanian prefect of Constanta was elected in 1878. He was Remus Opreanu, and earned his position after the region was annexed by the Romanian Kingdom.  In 1882, the great manor inherited from the Turks was consumed by fire. Because of the destruction, the Romanian administration began thinking about erecting a new building as a replacement for the old one (today, this building is known as the Military Circle). The first concrete efforts in this regard were made only in 1892. Before this, for 10 years the prefect and his team were forced to move from one headquarters to another.

The project has been modified 3 times. The new architect chosen for this project was Daniel Renard, who would later also be assigned to the construction of the famous Casino from Constanta. Renard’s most important achievement was his design of the interior in a “la belle epoque” style, thus, the interior of the building was truly elegant. It is worth noting that many of the architectural elements that decorate the interior of the Administrative Palace can be observed in the rooms of the Constanta Casino.

On August 17, 1903, in the presence of Minister Dimitrie Sturza and many other personalities, the foundation stone of the Administrative Palace was laid. Also, on the same day, the official beginning of the works on the first boulevard of the city, Elisabeta Boulevard, was celebrated.

On February 1, 1906, the definitive reception of the building was made, by a specially designated commission. Sadly, also many construction defects were discovered, such as: cracks in the walls, imperfect carpentry, peeling and falling of paint, glazed windows, poorly laid parquet, unfinished steps on the scale of honor, poor sewerage and other such defects.  It was rumored however that the members of the commission have exaggerated. However, the building did indeed required multiple repairs and modifications later on.

In 1949, the building entered the patrimony of M.Ap.N. and since then it fulfills the role of the House of Culture of the Army, imposing itself aesthetically over other such institutions in the country. The building has performed a prodigious activity in the service of active military personnel, veterans, reservists, and students. The Military Circle has evolved permanently becoming an institution with multi-valent concerns in the education of the people of the army, and beyond. The Administrative Palace, which today is known as the Military Circle, is definitely considered part of the city’s history.

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