The casino from Vatra Dornei returns to its former beauty


The Central Pavilion of Baths, known as the Casino from Vatra Dornei, has always been the symbol of the city from Bucovina. It was built at the end of the 19th century at the initiative of the mayor Vasile Deac, who convinced Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria of the necessity of a casino for tourists coming to the baths. Thus, the casino was inaugurated on July 10, 1899, at which time it had a theater, a library, a restaurant, a confectionery and other spaces of public utility.

The eclectic-style building with German Renaissance influences has had several uses over time: a gambling hall, a concert and performance hall, as well as a workers’ club during the communist regime. However, although it was included in the list of historical monuments in Suceava county, the casino was in an advanced state of decay for a long time. The rehabilitation of the Vatra Dornei casino building began in 1988; it was abandoned until 2016 when design work began. The site reopened in 2019.

Currently, the Vatra Dornei casino is slowly but surely returning to its former beauty. Rehabilitation works are progressing both externally and internally so that the monumental edifice begins to look as it once was.

At the end of May, the president of the Suceava County Council, Gheorghe Flutur, visited the team dealing with the rehabilitation of the Vatra Dornei casino. The rehabilitation works are at a fairly advanced stage and for this reason the head of the local administration declared himself convinced that after the rehabilitation, the casino in Vatra Dornei will be a real magnet for tourists. “I’m glad to be at this edifice that does great honor to Bucovina, Casino Baths from Vatra Dornei”, declared Gheorghe Flutur.

The head of the Sucevan county administration visited Vatra Dornei where – during the visit to the casino site – he was accompanied by the mayor Ilie Boncheș, the vice-mayor Marius Rîpan and the manager of the casino project, Ciprian Muscă. From Gheorghe Flutur’s point of view, once the rehabilitation is completed, the casino building will even be able to host meetings of heads of state or other large-scale events. “I am convinced that there will be many high-class cultural events here. And please believe me, I have the courage to say it, events to host heads of state, to promote Bucovina and Romania and to show that there are masterpieces worth visiting in this part of the country as well”, emphasized Gheorghe Flutur.

Looking in retrospect at the “saving of the Vatra Dornei casino”, the head of the Sucevan county administration evoked how in 2019 the project was approved for financing and the works for modernization also began, the value being over 5 million euros and the fact that the partnership for the rehabilitation of the casino from Vatra Dornei with the Archdiocese of Suceava and Rădăuțil (the owner of the building) is taking shape is gratifying. “It was our duty to save this masterpiece that for many years was left in disrepair and we somehow fixed the mistakes made in the last 50, 80 years when this casino was left in oblivion. Now it is becoming a reference building for Bucovina”, said Gheorghe Flutur. He added that Vatra Dornei gains enormously from saving the casino, this edifice will once again become a magnet in attracting tourists. “In the picture of the architecture of Vatra Dornei, the casino shines again,” concluded Gheorghe Flutur.

Initially, rehabilitation of the casino building began in 1998 and was abandoned until 2016 when design work began and in 2019 the mayor signed the order to start work and the building permit was issued. “Together we managed to bring back this emblematic building for Bucovina to the stage it was originally at when it was designed in 1889, when it was inaugurated and given to the citizens to be used as a space for culture and the promotion of culture and art from Bucovina”, said project manager Ciprian Muscă.

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