In 1987, workers began constructing what would be the tallest hotel in the world in Pyongyang, North Korea.
The frame was finished two years later — a little behind schedule, the structure was supposed to open in 1989. Then in 1992, after the collapse of ally and backer the Soviet Union, work stopped completely on Ryugyong Hotel.
The 105-story, 1,083-foot structure protrudes above the rest of the North Korean capital's skyline. It remains the largest abandoned building in the world.
The hope put forth by then-ruler Kim Il-Sung had been to build a hotel that would exemplify the country's robust tourism industry. It came to represent the opposite. The empty hotel seems like the perfect symbol for the isolated Communist nation with delusions of grandeur. More than $750 million has gone into the lodging that's frequently
Ryugyong Hotel is not dead yet. An Egyptian company called Orascom started working on the project again in 2008, adding a glass exterior to the building's facade. But construction on the luxury hotel seems to have halted again. the inside of the structure has no plumbing, electricity or, really anything at all. The gigantic building that looks like a winged spaceship from the outside serves to shroud a hollow interior.
The price of finishing this project would be steep. Although there's one guy who might be able to help fund it, :
In 2008, the South Korean media estimated that the Ryugyong project could require another $2 billion to finish construction and ensure safety, which is around 7 percent of North Korea's GDP. Perhaps Kim Jong-un [Il-Sung's grandson], worth a rumored—and ill-gotten—$5 billion, will dig into his own pockets to make good on a 30-year promise.
See more photos of the Ryugyong Hotel below.