When you see all the moss and vegetation growing in a room, you can hardly believe that you are in the formerly most luxurious hotel on the African continent. The Ducor Hotel was once the most prominent hotel in Africa.
Ducor was built by Israeli builder Moshe Mayer in 1960 on the highest point of Monrovia, and it was the first 5-star hotel in Africa.
The building overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the Saint Paul River and Monrovia’s West Point district. Frequented by politicians, diplomats and business people from across the continent and abroad, the hotel was a shinning example of the prosperous years in West Africa at the time.
It hosted many important meetings between African leaders. Ugandan dictator Idi Amin is said to have swum in its pool while carrying his gun.
The hotel closed in 1989. It was used by former Liberian president Charles Taylor’s fighters as a firing position due to its vantage point on the highest hill in Monrovia during the siege of Monrovia by rebel forces in 2003.
In the postwar time, displaced residents of many of Monrovia’s slums began to occupy the hotel’s empty rooms. In 2008, the Government of Liberia signed a lease agreement with the Government of Libya, who began clearing the property of debris in 2010.
The project was delayed several times before finally being abandoned upon Liberia’s severing of diplomatic relations with the Gaddafi government following the outbreak of the 2011 Libyan civil war.
Since then thick tropical vegetation surrounding it has invaded every crevice, corner and floor of the deserted art deco styled landmark.