The Communal Palace

This massive and imposing building that dominates the Ovidiu Square was built between 1912-1921 under the guidance of the architect Victor Stefanescu. On March 28, 1911, the Communal Council of Constanta decided making a contract between the City Hall (represented by Mayor Titus Cananau) and the architect Victor Stefanescu. The latter was tasked to draw up the plans for the planning of the “Piata Independentei”(Independence Market,as it was then called) and for construction of the Communal Palace. The foundation stone of the edifice was laid the following year on May 22, by the heir to the throne, Prince Ferdinand. Following the religious service, officiated by Bishop Nifon, Prince Ferdinand signed the commemorative act, along with: Bishop Nifon, Constantin Pariano, Mayor Titus Cananau and other councilors.

Initially, the foundation planned for the project had a depth of around 3-4 m. Later on, the depth reached 5-7 m, but it kept increasing until it reached no less than 17 m. This was because the workers needed to reach solid ground for the foundation, which was difficult to achieve. The palace is erected by the abolition of Neptun and Thetis streets, on the old access road in the port. Due to the political and economic climate of the time, the works were stopped because of the ever increasing costs in 1913, and were resumed in the spring of 1914  only to be stopped again at the beginning of the First World War, when all the country’s public works were stopped.

Between 1919-1921, the construction of the building was resumed and finalized. The works carried out by engineer C.M. Vasilescu ended, and on July 17, 1921 takes place the inauguration of the Communal Palace, related in two successive numbers of the newspaper “Farul”, by the journalists Ioan N. Duployen and Ioan N. Roman. At the initiative of Ion Theodorescu Sion, it is proposed to paint the reception hall of the Communal Palace. The actual painting of the fresco is executed much later, during 1966-1968, in an unobtrusive vision, by the painters Niculina Dona Delavrancea and Gheorghe Popescu.

The Palace is part of the series of public buildings built in neo-Romanesque style with characteristic architectural elements: the loggia on the large pediment with rich columns decorated at the base and capital, the entrance and the two windows of the more advanced lateral bodies with stone frames, the hall with a wide opening and the small and narrow windows from the third floor.

Starting with the year of 1977, the building became the Museum of National History and Archeology, an institution that differs from similar institutions in other counties by the simple fact that, it has a dualist personality. Although it emphasizes the history of Dobrogea, it also has a national thematic area.

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