Beirut’s bullet-riddled Holiday Inn – a history of cities in 50 buildings, day 28

May 3, 2015

The once-plush hotel stands empty as a reminder of the city’s brutal civil war, while the surrounding districts are swept up in glitzy redevelopments

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Though Lebanon has been swept by a gentrifying and disfiguring development rush, some older monuments still stand tall. Strolling downhill from the Clemenceau neighbourhood for a coffee on the seaside Corniche, you’ll see the towering building of the Holiday Inn: bullet-riddled and rocket-pierced.

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The once-plush hotel, which opened for business just two years before the Lebanese civil war broke out in 1975, has remained in Beirut’s collective memory – not for its glamour or architectural design, but as a front-line, a demarcation between east and west, and a symbol of war.

The Holiday Inn was then sold on the streets of Beirut: beds, silver spoons, curtains

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