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Ryugyong Hotel

The Ryugyong Hotel is a towering, 105-story, 1,083 foot empty concrete shell in Pyongyang, North Korea. If the building ever was completed it would be considered the world's largest hotel, and one of the tallest buildings in the world. Today however, the building remains uninhabited and unfinished.

The North Koreans began constructing the pyramid-shaped Ryugyong Hotel in 1987, reportedly aiming for 105 stories to beat out a structure the South Koreans were building in Singapore. The building was to contain 3,000 rooms and 7 revolving restaurants. The estimated cost of building it ran upwards of $750 million, which is 2% of North Korea's GDP. It's generally assumed construction came to a halt in 1991 because North Korea was suffering from famine, acute electricity shortages, and lack of necessary funding. The basic structure is complete, but no windows, fixtures or fittings have been installed. According to, the concrete used in building the Ryugyong Hotel is of unsuitable quality and therefore is unsafe - it cannot therefore be completed as currently built. With annual tourism numbering less than a hundred, some question the logic of building such a massive hotel. Pyongyang's few existing hotels remain to this day, virtually empty. The 3.9-million-square-foot concrete structure continues to dominate Pyongyang's skyline.