Abandoned North Korean Hotel Lurks on Horizon

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I found a fascinating tidbit on the web this morning, since I got up very early. It was about abandoned cities, and in the story I read about the Ryugyong Hotel, a 105-story hotel shaped like a mountain that is abandoned in North Korea’s capital city of Pyongyang.

The building, started in 1987, was constructed of poor quality concrete, and so it has begun sagging, and never got close to being finished. Before it was done, it was placed on Korean maps but now it is an embarassment and no one talks about it any more. When it was built, Asia was exploding with new high rises, and higher and higher towers in Taiwan, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. So the North Koreans decided to build a five-star hotel, with seven revolving restaurants and 3000 rooms.

Now the hulk of this hotel, with no windows or interior finishing, towers over the city, mocking the citizens of North Korea. Esquire magazine called it ‘The worst building in the history of mankind.” Today photos of Pyongyang are airbrushed to take this giant spike shape out.

In more recent news, an Egyption company has begun working on the top floors of the massive white elephant, installing cellphone towers for the small number of party officials who will be getting mobile phones soon.