“If a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them,” wrote Amor Towles in his 2016 Gentleman in Moscow bestseller.
(* According to www.moscow-hotels.com, Metropol Hotel is situated in the heart of Moscow, in front of Bolshoi Theatre and in immediate proximity to Red square and Kremlin. The Metropol was founded in 1905 as a part of the grandiose project of the famous businessman and patron of art Savva Mamontov. According to the first Mamontov’s plan, the hotel had to be the part of cultural centre with the largest theatre, exhibition centres, skating rink, and winter garden. Mamontov recruited talented architects and artists — Valkootte, Kekushev, Vrubel.Formerly the plot of building was occupied with Chelyshevsky baths, mentioned in Moscow and Moscowers Gilyarovsky’s book. The building started in 1898 and finished in 1905. But the original plans of Mamontov won’t be realized because he was convicted of financial disturbs and he was arrested. He was acquitted but couldn’t participate in the building. New contractors refused the Mamontov’s ideas and decided to build five-star hotel. However, run of bad luck didn’t stop. In 1901 fire took the new building, destroyed all the interiors. Metropol Hotel was opened just in 1905.
Moscow citizens called this hotel as the tower of Babel, they were amazed with turrets, bas-relieves, glass domes, tracery grates, majolica pictures. Metropol Hotel was equipped with elevators, fridges, ventilation. There were three popular restaurants in the hotel. Brusov, Rakhmaninov, Komissarzhevskaya, Shalyapin visited these restaurants.During the revolution of 1917 Metropol Hotel became one of the counter-revolutionary post. Later it was nationalized and turned into the Second Council House. The main restaurant of Metropol Hotel turned into conference hall, where Lenin, Trotsky, Sverdlov spoke. Many well-known Bolsheviks — Bukharin, Chicherin, Antonov-Ovseenko lived and worked in Metropol Hotel.)