In the middle of Moldova’s capital, Chişinău, one of the city’s tallest buildings is an abandoned hotel. It is the skeleton of the formerly famous hotel “Hotel National”, where 15 floors and a basement today are completely deserted – to the homeless’s joy.

abandoned-hotel-national-1When the Soviet fell, Hotel National became the hotel that the first tourists in Moldova were accommodated on. Few thought then that this would be Moldova’s biggest ruin. A decline that began in 2006.


From the left: The election campaign for the communist party, in the middle, is Hotel National and on the right a victory monument for World War II.

The idea, like so much in the former communist countries, was that the hotel should be privatized and then renovated.

The judiciary has not realized what actually happened, but the new owners got a valuable plot in the middle of the capital. Any total renovation that they promised at the time of purchase did not happen at all. Instead, the building was transformed into housing homeless, creating a complaint from residents in neighboring houses.

No one would ever stay at the fallen giant hotel. The building itself was built in 1978 and had the unofficial name “Hotel Intourist”.abandoned-hotel-national-4

That all this would be a corruption and legal scandal without its similar might be predetermined. Probably it will continue for a while. The last bid was that the hotel would be leveled with the land and then build luxury apartments on the site. The Communist Party, which is still Moldova’s largest party, would have priority access to the apartments.

Why nothing has happened is unclear. Since a year ago, the old hotel is guarded 24/7, making it difficult for me as uninvited to take other than exterior photos. At least this time …