October 01, 1998

Russia's Metropol


In the late 1880s, Muscovites began calling the old Chelyshy hotel (named after its owners) the "Metropol." In Greek, the name means "mother-city, the main city of a state." At that time, the Chelyshev family decided to sell the hotel and adjacent baths. After several transactions, the St. Petersburg Insurance Company purchased the hotel for 1,158,000 rubles.

Then, as now, Moscow was experiencing a construction boom. The population was growing and so was the number of hotels. Given these realities, the St. Petersburg Insurance Company decided to build a grandiose hotel on the prime downtown site of the Chelyshy -- it was expected that it would also provide good advertising and exposure for the company.

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