Metropol, like Moscow's other oldest surviving hotels, the National, Savoy, and Baltchug, opened before the Revolution. At the end of the 19th century, entrepreneur Savva Mamontov intended to develop a large cultural center. He chose a design by the English architect William Walcot and hired Lev Kekushev, who had also submitted a design, as construction manager.
Kekushev and Walcot invited first-rate artists like K. Korovin, V. Polenov, N. Andreev, and M.Vrubel to work on the hotel's interiors. Vrubel created a gorgeous majolica panel — Princess of Dreams. The sketches are now exhibited at Tretyakov Gallery. If you look at the hotel's facade carefully, you may see another mosaic panel loosely featuring words by Friedrich Nietzsche: "When one has finished building one's house, one suddenly realizes that in the process one has learned something new.”
The Metropol Hall is the pride of the hotel. A stained-glass dome, bronze lamps, mirrors in gilded frames, and a marble fountain in the center form an atmosphere of splendor. The hall houses a restaurant serving Russian cuisine. Note, you can sign up for a guided tour in Metropol and see it all for yourself!
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