Russia Hotel, built in 1967, was the symbol of Russian hospitality. Tedious building of the hotel wasn't the decoration of city centre. For many years it was the largest hotel in Moscow, till the middle seventies Russia Hotel was registered in Ginious book of world records as the largest hotel of Europe.
Before Russia Hotel building the historical district of Moscow Zaryadie had been reconstructing for years. Soviet government created the plan of Zaryadie's reconstruction in twenties, in 1935 Stalin approved the plan of Moscow reconstruction, buildings of Zaryadie were demolished.
According to the first plans it had to be a House of industry for 4 thousands rooms. Afterwards, plans changed, was taken a decision to build the second House of Sovnarkom at the project of architects Vesnitskie. In 1941 the building started, but due to World War II it was frozen.
The accomplishment of Zaryadie was started in forties. The chief architect of Moscow D. Chechulin created the project of 32-storeyed building with 2 thousands rooms. On September 7, 1947 in eight-hundredth anniversary of Moscow was the solemn foundation of building. In 1953 huge platform with bomb shelter under it was built here. Soon due to the death of Stalin the building was frozen again. In 1959 Chechulin offered to build a hotel there. He went abroad for Hilton company recommendations. In 1964 the building started, in 1967 Russia Hotel was opened.
12-storeyed edifice of Russia Hotel occupied four buildings, each of which were look to the north, west, south, and east. In the centre of northern tower 21-storeyed part was built on. Russia Hotel boasted 2700 rooms of different categories, restaurants, libraries, hairdresser's, and auto-service. In 1971 the largest Central music hall was opened here.
Russia Hotel had a reputation of Soviet hotel № 1. The interiors of the hotel were made in many films, such as Mistake of resident, Mimino, etc. Performance in Russia music hall for all Soviet singers and actors was equal to all-union recognition. For all years of work Russia Hotel accommodated more than ten millions people, including two millions of foreigners. M.S. Gorbachev, G. Bush senior, M.Taison were the guests of the hotel.
A black day in the history of Russia Hotel was 25th of January, 1977. In the evening of that day the hotel was taken a fire. Many people on 17 and 22 floors panted with smoke. Fire and smoke spread quickly, due to one of the versions it was because of synthetic carpets and walls. Firemen had problems with fire-escapes which reached just 7 floors. They tied scaling-ladders with hooks, stretched them from 7 to 22 floors and saved people.
About 1000 people were saved, 42 people died, 52 people, including 13 firemen were wounded. Fire in Russia Hotel was the largest in 20 century not only in Russia, but in the whole world. This story was embodied in V. Sanin book — The large fire, Tizengauzer director made a documentary film — Fire in Russia Hotel.
The official reason of the fire in Russia Hotel was not switching off the soldering iron in the location of radio center. There are a lot of unofficial reasons, including arson and act of terrorism. There are a numbers of reasons, meanwhile this fire was the largest one in the history of Moscow.
In the following years Russia Hotel was very popular among the guests of Moscow. Nevertheless Moscow government made a decision to demolish Russia Hotel in April, 2004. According to the project six-storeyed complex with underground parking lot of 2,5 thousands places had to be build on that plot. ST Development company won the competition of demolish and reconstruction of the hotel.
On the 1st of January, 2006 Russia Hotel was closed, in March of that year the dismantling of the building started. In July, 2007 the building of the Hotel was finished.