Constanţa is one of the oldest cities in Romania, founded around 600 BC. The city is located in the Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea coast. It is the capital of Constanţa County and the largest city in the region.
The city of Constanța is one of the most important in Romania, one of four roughly equal-size cities which rank after Bucharest. The Constanţa metropolitan area was founded in 2007 and comprises 14 localities located at a maximum distance of 30 km (19 mi) from the city and with 446,595 inhabitants. It has the second largest metropolitan area in Romania, after Bucharest.
The Port of Constanța has an area of 39,26 sq km and a length of about 30 km. It is the largest port on the Black Sea, and one of te largest ports in Europe.
Constanţa is one of Romania's main industrial, commercial and tourist centers. During the first half of 2008, some 3,144 new companies were established in Constanţa and its neghbouring localities, a number surpassed only in Bucharest and Cluj County. The Port of Constanţa is the largest on the Black Sea and the fourth largest in Europe. The city also boasts a comparably large shipyard.
Tourism has been an increasingly important economic activity in recent years. Although Constanţa has been promoted as a seaside resort since the time of Carol I, the development of naval industry had a detrimental effect on the city's beaches. Nevertheless, due to its proximity to other major tourist destinations, Constanţa receives a significant number of visitors every year, who discover and visit the city's monuments and attractions. Also, Constanţa is a centre of commerce and education, both of which significantly contribute to the local economy.
Situated at the crossroads of several commercial routes, Constanţa lies on the western coast of the Black Sea, 185 miles (298 km) from the Bosphorus Strait. An ancient metropolis and Romania's largest sea port, Constanţa traces its history some 2,500 years. Originally called Tomis, legend has it that Jason landed here with the Argonauts after finding the Golden Fleece.
One of the largest cities in Romania, Constanţa is now an important cultural and economic center, worth exploring for its archaeological treasures and the atmosphere of the old town center. 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. Regional attractions include traditional villages, vineyards, ancient monuments and the Danube Delta, the best preserved delta in Europe.
- Ovid's Square Designed by the sculptor Ettore Ferrari in 1887, the statue dedicated to the Roman poet, Publius Ovidius Naso, gives name to this square. Emperor Augustus exiled Ovid to Tomis in 8 AD.
- The Roman Mosaics (Edificul Roman cu Mozaic) A vast complex on three levels once linked the upper town to the harbor. Today, only about a third of the original edifice remains, including more than 9,150 sq ft (850 sq m) of colorful mosaics. Built toward the end of the 4th century AD and developed over the centuries, it was the city's commercial center until the 7th century. Archaeological 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 (10 km) to the town.
- The Genoese Lighthouse (Farul Genovez) Soaring 26 feet (7.9 m), this lighthouse was built in 1860 by the Danubius and Black Sea Company to honor Genoese merchants who established a flourishing sea trade community here in the 13th century.
- The Casino (Cazinoul) Completed between the two World Wars in art nouveau style according to the plans of the architects, Daniel Renard and Petre Antonescu, the Casino features sumptuous architecture and a wonderful view of the sea. The pedestrian area around the Casino is a sought-after destination for couples and families, especially at sunset.
- The House with Lions (Casa cu Lei) Blending pre-Romantic and Genovese architectural styles, this late 19th century building features four columns adorned with imposing sculptured lions. During the 1930s, its elegant salons hosted the Constanţa Masonic Lodge.
- The Archeology Park (Parcul Arheologic) The park houses columns and fragments of 3rd and 4th century buildings and a 6th century tower.
- St. Peter & Paul Orthodox Cathedral Constructed in Greco-Roman style between 1883 and 1885, the church was severely damaged during World War II and was restored in 1951. The interior murals display a neo-Byzantine style combined with Romanian elements best observed in the iconostasis and pews, chandeliers and candlesticks (bronze and brass alloy), all designed by Ion Mincu and completed in Paris.
- The Great Mahmudiye Mosque (Moscheea Mare Mahmoud II) Built in 1910 by King Carol I, 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 coast of the Dobrogea region. The building combines Byzantine and Romanian architectural elements, making it one of the most distinctive mosques in the area. The centerpiece of the interior is a large Persian carpet, a gift from Sultan Abdul Hamid. Woven at the Hereke Handicraft Center 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 (50 m) 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.
- The Fantasio Theatre (Teatrul Fantasio) Built in 1927 by Demostene Tranulis, a local philanthropist of Greek origin, this theatre used to be called “Tranulis” before 1947, after the name of its benefactor. It's a fine building featuring elements of neoclassical architecture, located in the heart of the city, on Ferdinand Boulevard.