After nearly 24 years of construction, the hotel that during its planning stage was slated to be the tallest tower in the world has now been thrown open for tourists. The Ryugyong hotel has long dominated the skyline of the North Korean capital, Pyongyang , however due to sanctions against North Korea ; the hotel could not be completed for over 2 decades. The hotel is a stunning 1080 feet high and has 105 storeys. It is a testament to the North Korean ambition of proving that their system of government was better then the rest of the world which first gave rise to the idea of this hotel.
It has been believed that the hotel was being secretly funded by the former Soviet Union and its collapse in 1993 meant that construction was soon halted. The Ryugyong’s opening shall co-incide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of North Korea’s founder Kim II-Sung. When construction first began, the hotel was used in official propaganda. But soon after construction stopped and official began ignoring the fact that this humongous structure even existed. There were even reports that the secretive nation would air-brush the incomplete building out of official images to prevent embarrassment.
Now completed, the hotel can still claim the title of being the 40th highest tower in the world with the fourth highest number of floors. The hotel itself only occupies the 20th to 30th levels , much like the Ritz Carlton, HongKong which is the highest hotel in the world.
The hotel was finally completed thanks to a joint partnership with the Orascom Group Inc of Egypt.
Personally, I think its a shame that North Korea is throwing open its biggest luxury hotel at a time when starvation is rampant across the nation. North Korea however labors to show the world that everything is hunky dory. However their attempts at luxury do serve one purpose – amusement. Have a look to see what I mean :
Seen here in its incomplete avatar is how the hotel was stuck for much of the past 2 decades.
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