Once in a lifetime

Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel: An Example of Neoclassical Moscow Hotels

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 by Peter Ron

The Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel may be recognized by visitors on a repeat visit to Moscow as one of the so-called Seven Sisters � skyscrapers which were built in Moscow between 1947 to 1953 under the Stalinist regime. An eight skyscraper that was supposed to be constructed as part of the Stalin Moscow development plan was never actually built.

Image: Hilton hotels

As one of the Moscow hotels built under the Stalinist neoclassical style of architecture, the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel was meant to be the best luxury hotel Moscow could offer at the time it was finished. People who are familiar with the 1930s architectural style of American skyscrapers can see elements of that style mixed with the Russian neoclassical style in the architecture of the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel.

At present, the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel is a member of the global Hilton hotel chain. It became part of the Hilton group of hotels after an investment worth millions of dollars was poured into its restoration plus renovation. It now offers not just lodgings to visitors but also the services of a business center, a conference hall, a health center, a gift shop, an exchange office, a post office, a hairdresser, a billiard room, a caf�, a casino, a lounge, a bar, and a restaurant to its hotel guests.

Back when the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel was known simply as the Hotel Leningradskaya, Khruschev commented that even though the building followed the Stalinist doctrine for neoclassical Moscow hotels, it was very inefficiently constructed. The cost of building the 354 rooms in this one hotel was actually equivalent to 1000 rooms, plus not all of the total space could be rent-able, said Khruschev (meaning that a mere 22% of the overall space was rent-able in his opinion.) Khruschev further noted that the hotel beds were 50% more expensive compared to the costs per bed of another of the Moscow hotels, namely Moskva Hotel.

Architectural history buffs will also find that the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel (like all the skyscrapers part of the Seven Sisters group) had to be rather short by American standards for skyscrapers because of another construction-related inefficiency � the total weight per skyscraper was too heavy for them to become tall buildings. In fact, each of the Seven Sisters was much heavier than the skyscrapers in the US.

Fortunately, even though the Seven Sisters had some defects in style and construction, they remained stable enough by building engineering standards to last up to today. There are other existing Moscow hotels in the city such as the Hotel Metropol and the Hotel Moskva, but none of these other Moscow hotels has been able to make it to the Guinness Book of World Records like the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel. The Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel was recognized by Guinness record takers as having one of the lengthiest lighting fixtures to be found anywhere in the world. Not bad for a Moscow hotel once deemed by Soviet leader Kruschev as being a product of bureaucratic excesses.

http://www.budgetmoscow.com offers you online bookings at Moscow Hotels and Moscow Apartments.


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