Inside the abandoned casino of Vatra Dornei

Postcard from Vatra Dornei's casino's glorious times

Opened in 1899 this architectural gem became a symbol of once blooming spa resort of Austro-Hungarian empire, famous for it's therapeutic baths. 

Meant as a leisure place for tourists to spent their free time, original building featured a great ballroom with the stage, restaurant, library, confectionery, gambling and other facilities. Different travelling bands and performers were hired to entertain the guests from all over the Austro-Hungary, Italy and even further places.

Look at the grand ballroom from below the stage. Whole room is hold up on the wooden pillars. Hole in the ceiling is representing where one of the grand Murano chandeliers was.

Designed by Viennese architect Peter Paul Brang, the building was inspired by casino from Baden, Germany. Build in eclectic style, it is visibly influenced by German renaissance. There were many luxurious materials and features used, such as Carrara marble works and 3 Murano glass chandeliers hanging in grand hall. The fasade was of no lack of details either, with ornaments and names of Greek muses added above main windows.

Remaining details on the fasade, including the name of Terpsichore, Greek muse of dance

During inter-war period, while the building was at peak of it's glory, the large terrace was added behind it with the view over the spa park.

Look at the Spa park, over the hole where once the terrace was. Space behind the casino is a regular place of various events. In the back, hidden behind the trees, there's a tower over spring of therapeutic water.

After the second world war, when casino was used for military purposes by Nazis, it suffered huge damage, especially internally. Later it was nationalised under communist regime, repaired and then transformed into spa club for the workers where meetings were held.

Inside the ballroom, wall looking towards the park

There were further projects planed for it's restoration in late 80's, for example the top floor and the roof have been redone, and the street situated between casino and Dorna river was turned into a boulevard.

Top floor, including the roof has been renovated, while the rest of fasade is still falling apart

But all works stopped after the revolution in 1989 due to the lack of financial support; interior was completely striped and all the valuables were taken. The terrace was pulled down, and despite further restoration plans by Vatra Dornei casino foundation, building was claimed by archdiocese of Suceava and left in it's mercy. 

Majority of underground space is divided by brick arches.

Recently there were further works planned with support of European funds, nothing has been done so far and the once dashing casino is left to it's decay.

One of the side decor towers

Windows looking at the back where the terrace was.

Left behind details

Detail from arches around ballroom

One of the rooms on the ground floor
Look at ceiling of the ballroom from the corridor, hole in the ceiling is where one of the grand chandeliers used to hang..

Stage in the grand ballroom

Balcony over viewing the ballroom , with the view towards the stage.

The view over ballroom from the balcony.

Information taken from ''Vatra Dornei 10 monumente uitate, 2018''


  1. What a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing !

    Lesley Kim

  2. So beautiful place!

  3. Interesting back story! It's a shame that it's now abandoned! Such beautiful architecture!

    Jill -
    Doused in Pink

  4. Beautiful photos.

  5. Whoa!!! These photos are legit awesome!!! -

  6. Very cool!
    I love these old buildings full of history.
    Very interesting place! :)

  7. This so sad, abandon buildings make me feel some kinda way.
    New post

  8. What an amazing place! Hopefully they will not leave so much history abandoned. Have a great day.

    Blog Paisagem de Janela

  9. It's a very beautiful place. Some years ago I went in an abandoned casino too, here in Brazil and it was so pretty.


    Anete Oliveira
    Blog Coisitas e Coisinhas

  10. Such a shame that it has become abandoned! The architecture is truly amazing and it looks as though it was so beautiful. I hope it will get restored to its former glory one day.
    Julia x

  11. Its so sad its abandoned! It still looks beautiful though x


  12. This place is extraordinary! Thanks for sharing these amazing pics.

  13. Wow! It's really very interesting place!

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