Welcome to the story of the world’s largest unoccupied building, the infamous Ryugyong Hotel!

Welcome to the story of the world’s largest unoccupied building, the infamous Ryugyong Hotel!

Construction for what was planned to be the tallest hotel in the world began in 1987 with the intention to be finished by the 1989 World Festival of Youth and Students, which was to be held in Pyongyang. For some political context, here the 1988 Olympics were due to be held in Seoul, and some would see the World Festival as Pyongyang’s response.

Around the early 90’s there were a few major events that occurred in the world namely the Soviet Union collapsing, and thus no more money to its former partners! Construction thus stopped on the Ryugyong Hotel in 1992.

Alas when things stopped the hotel had no windows, and a massive crane stuck on the top. There was then a very long break from things. 16 years in fact.

Had the hotel been finished it would have had 105 floors, and up to 5 revolving restaurants (they like a revolving restaurant in North Korea).

In 2008 the Egyptian company Orascom started to build the North Korean cellphone network, and as part of the deal started finally renovating the hotel.

The next two years were a great time for Ryugyong Hotel watchers! The whole of the outside was covered in glass, and finally the big rusted crane was removed.

Since then sadly not all that much has happened, there’s often been talks about opening 3-6-9 floors, but the only real change was LED lights that were added in 2018 showing the North Korean flag!

No one quite knows what the future holds for the Ryugyong Hotel, but we will be here watching and hoping that it will open one day!

Did the Kempinski try to buy the Ryugyong Hotel?

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