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Moscow, Russia

Hotel Ukraina

The tallest hotel in Europe. 

Back in the era when they were built, no mere mortal could enter the Seven Sisters. Outrageous legends started circulating. Cold war paranoia set in and one rumor claimed that Hotel Ukraina’s pointed dome hid a rocket launching platform. Regardless of the rumors, Hotel Ukraina was a magnificent sight, even more so against the drab backdrop of Moscow streets.

198 meters, and 34 floors high, it is still Europe’s tallest hotel. The building was designed by Arkady Mordvinov and Vyacheslav Oltarzhevsky. Oltarzhevsky was at the time the leading Soviet expert of steel-framed highrise constructions.

The hotel is situated on the riverbank and the construction of such a large structure required foundations much deeper then the water line. This was solved by an ingenious water retention system, using a perimeter of so called needle pumps driven deep into ground.