Hotel Communism

This is the Ryugyong (“Capital of Willows”) Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. In 1987, Great Leader Kim Il-Sung started building this monstrosity. No one’s exactly sure why North Korea started building this eyesore, but in a communist dictatorship, it’s hard to explain why the government does anything. Work on the hotel is believed to have stopped in 1992, during a brutal famine.

Japanese newspapers have estimated that the hotel’s construction cost $750m, which would have been about 2% of NK’s Gross Domestic Product. The hotel stands 330 m tall (about 1070 ft.). The crazy angle of the roof is 75 degrees.

Number of customers since work ceased? 0. The building is structurally unsound and lacks electrical wiring and bathroom fixtures.

According to reports of those who have visited Pyongyang, tour guides act as though the 1070 ft. building doesn’t exist.

“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

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