The 23rd BS MoU Port State Control Committee (PSCC23)

General information about Constanta

Constanta lies on the western coast of the Black Sea,185 miles north of Istanbul and Bosphorus Strait (Turkey) and 100 miles north of port of Varna (Bulgaria).

Romania's oldest continuously inhabited city and the country's largest sea port, Constanta traces its history some 2,500 years. Originally called Tomis, legend has it that Constanta was visited by Jason and the Argonauts after finding the Golden Fleece.

Founded by Greek colonists from Miletos in the 6th century BC, Tomis was conquered by the Romans in 71 BC and renamed Constantiana by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, in honor of his sister. Constanta flourished during the 13th century, when Genoese merchants dominated the Black Sea but, the city began to decline two centuries later, when it fell under Turkish rule. During the Ottoman era its name was shortened to Constanta . Fine mansions and hotels were built at the end of the 19th century when King Carol I decided to revive Constanta as a port and seaside resort.

Constanta is today one of Romania's largest cities and an important cultural and economic centre, worth exploring for its archaeological treasures and the Old Town's architecture. Its historical monuments, ancient ruins, grand Casino, museums and shops, and proximity to beach resorts make it the focal point of Black Sea coast tourism. Open-air restaurants, nightclubs and cabarets offer a wide variety of entertainment.

Constanta is the largest Black Sea port (9,700 acres)

the fourth largest (size) in Europe, after Rotterdam, Antwerp and Marseille,

and the 16th busiest ports (merchandise volume/ thousand tonnes).


Constanta is more than just the entry point to the Black Sea coast. It is a place with a long and interesting past, attested by its many outstanding Greek and Roman vestiges, historic buildings, and colorful facades that are found in the Old City Centre.

  • Ovidiu Square

Constanta's best known square (and meeting place) honors the first major Roman poet, Ovidiu (Publius Ovidius Naso) Roman Emperor Augustus exiled Ovid to Tomis in year 8 AD. Ovidiu's bronze stature, designed by Italian sculptor Ettore Ferrari in 1887 adorns the square named after him. An exact replica of the statue can be found in the town of Sulmona (Italy), the birth pace of the poet.

  • The Roman Edifice

Address: Piata Ovidiu 12 (part of the National History & Archeology Museum)

Open: Tue. - Sun.: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Once a vast complex on three levels that linked Constanta upper town to the harbor, about a third of the original Roman edifice still stands. Built toward the end of the 4th century AD and developed over the centuries, the structure was the city's commercial centre until late 7th century. Archeological vestiges point to the existence of workshops, warehouses and shops in the area. Remains of the Roman public baths can still be seen nearby. Aqueducts brought water six miles to the town. The museum's highlights are perhaps the more than 9,000 sq ft of, well preserved, colorful mosaics.

  • The Genoese Lighthouse

Address: Str. Remus Opreanu

Soaring 26 feet, this lighthouse was built in 1860 by the Danubius and Black Sea Company to honor Genoese merchants who, in the 13th century, established in Constanta a flourishing sea trade community.

  • Constanța Casino

Address: Blvd. Regina Elisabeta 2

Completed in 1910, according to the plans of architects Daniel Renard and Petre Antonescu, Constanta Casino is a stunning art nouveau structure, perched on a cliffside overlooking the Black Sea. The pedestrian area around the Casino is the city's most popular promenade. Once considered Romania's very own Monte Carlo, Constanța casino his currently undergoing major restoration works.

  • The Great Mahmudiye Mosque

Address: Strada Arhiepiscopiei 5 (Ovidiu Square)

Completed in 1910, the mosque is the seat of the Mufti, the spiritual leader of the 55,000 Muslims (Turks and Tatars by origin) who live along the Black Sea coast in Dobrogea region (SE Romania). The building combines Byzantine and Romanian architectural elements. The centerpiece of the interior is a large Persian carpet, a gift from Sultan Abdul Hamid. Woven at the Hereche Handicraft Centre in Turkey, it is one of the largest carpets in Europe, weighing 1,080 pounds. The main attraction of the mosque is the 164-ft minaret (tower) which offers a stunning view of the old downtown and harbor. Five times a day, the muezzin climbs 140 steps to the top of the minaret to call the faithful to prayer.

  • Constanta Art Museum

Address: Blvd. Tomis 82 - 84

Established in 1961, the Art Museum exhibits more than 7,500 Romanian contemporary art masterpieces - paintings, sculptures, ceramics, china, upholstery and furniture. A century of Romanian art is on display, ranging from the works of Theodor Aman and Nicolae Grigorescu to those of Ion Jalea and Corneliu Baba. Here, you will have the opportunity to view the Black Sea and Constanta through the eyes of the artists who portrayed them.

  • National History & Archeology Museum

Address: Piata Ovidiu 12

An impressive collection of artifacts from Greek, Roman, and Daco-Roman civilizations is on display illustrating the history of Dobrogea from the Stone Age to modern days. Greek and Roman objects can be found on the main floor. Two statues, one of the "Glykon - The Fantastic Snake," dating from the 3rd century BC, and the other of "Goddess Fortuna and Pontos," god of the Black Sea, are considered protectors of the city and port and are the highlights of the collection.

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