In its current usage the word casino (derived from the Italian word casa) refers to a facility where gambling activities are carried out. But not all buildings carrying this name were built for gambling purposes though. In the 18th century Italians used the term casino to refer to a public building used for music events or dancing. It was only later – in the early 1900s – that the term casino started to cover facilities built specifically for gambling.
We have gathered a few of our favorite casino buildings, some of which are still used for their intended purposes, others, however, are only reminders of the once exquisite times.
Casino Constanța, Romania
Situated at the shores of the Black Sea, Casino Constanta was designed by Daniel Renard and it was officially inaugurated in 1911. History has not been kind to this building – two world wars, a cruel communist regime, and later an irresponsible local municipality let the casino in an appalling state. Even though now it is almost in ruins, the Art Nouveau style building is still majestic.
Casino di Venezia (Ca` Vendramin Calergi), Italy
Inaugurated in 1638, Casino di Venezia is considered to be the oldest casino in Italy and even in Europe. The beautiful Renaissance style building was designed by architect Mauro Codussi and its construction was carried out in only 28 years – a rather short period considering the technology available at the time. Apart from the casino, the palace Ca` Vendramin Calergi is also home to the Wagner museum.
Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco
Princess Caroline, spouse of Prince Florestan I, is credited with the idea of opening a casino in Monaco. The Casino de Monte Carlo is not just a casino, it is an entire gambling complex, including other entertainment facilities such as the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo and the Monte Carlo Ballet. The casino was opened in 1863. Even though since then the casino has undergone a series of remodeling constructions, the dominant architectural style is the Beux Arts style.
Casino Sinaia, Romania
Although no longer a gambling facility, Casino Sinaia is a beautiful reminder of Romania`s monarchy period. Casino Sinaia was commissioned by King Carol I of Romania and was completed in 1913 in only one year. Currently the building operates as an international conference center.