Hotel of Doom, North Korea

Hotel of Doom, North Korea © Myouzke

The Hotel of Doom. The Phantom Hotel. The ‘worst building in the history of mankind’. These are just some of the labels that the Ryugyong Hotel of Pyongyang has earned over the past 16 years.

For that is the length of time it has loomed – unfinished and certainly unloved – above the capital.

Designed as a symbol of emerging wealth, the hotel fast became an emblem of a malfunctioning totalitarian state. Its funding dissolved with economic meltdown in the 90s. But incredibly, work on the eerie skyscraper has recently restarted, and it’s now expected to be finished in 2012.

An infamous eyesore, the huge skeletal pyramid has 105 floors topped by a series of concentric rings. And on the very top? A rusty crane that has been there ever since work stopped in 1993.

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