North Korea’s Hotel of Doom

The Ryugyong Hotel located in Pyongyang, North Korea is one of the very few abandoned skyscrapers that the world has. The hotel is a massive 1089 feet high — that is about 105 floors and can easily accommodate 3000 rooms. However, the hotel was closed off to guests even before the ceremonial opening ribbon could be cut. And from here on, the Ryugyong Hotel became the Hotel of Doom

Why was the Hotel of Doom constructed in the first place?

The Hotel of Doom was a product of a superiority complex and cold war rivalry between North and South Korea. In 1988 South Korea was preparing to host the Olympics in Seoul. South Korean firms had completed the construction of a magnificent hotel known as Westin Stamford in Singapore. To steal their title of the country with the tallest hotel, North came up with a plan to build Ryugong.

Why didn’t the Hotel of Doom open?

The work started back in 1987 and has been stopped and resumed several times since then. The reason behind the stoppage of construction was the economy of North Korea. During the Cold War, the North was backed by the Soviets. And, they were the main source of trade and investment, Soviets decline in an economy marked Korea’s decline too which led to an unfinished 105 floored skeleton in 1992. And, that is when the people nicknamed the structure Hotel of Doom.

Later in 2008, an Egypt based company Orascom took on the project and glass paneling was installed on the building. The estimated value of the Hotel of Doom is 2 billion dollars which is equal to 5% of the overall GDP of North Korea.

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What’s the present condition of the Hotel of Doom?

The insides of the Hotel of Doom are still incomplete. It has been titled as the tallest abandon building in the world.

The Hotel of Doom consists of 3 wings all at an angle of 75 degrees in the shape of a cone. The two smaller wings are both 380 feet high. The Korean’s have found alternative uses of the Hotel of Doom by installing over one lakh LED screens and use it as a great backdrop for art performances and propaganda messages.

In 2009, the building was used for fireworks show framing Ryugyong. The top 8 floors were meant to be a rotating cuboid comprising of restaurants giving a panoramic view of the city. Sadly, even that is empty as the rest of the building. But, now you can walk up to its front entrance which has the hotel’s name embossed over on the front. The building itself does not have electricity and no construction completion date is disclosed as such but the workers do enter the facility nowadays.

It’s going to be fascinating to see what will the government do with this Hotel of Doom. Will it ever be completed or it will just remain unfinished? Tell us what would you do with the building if you had the authority over the Hotel of Doom!