Palace of Culture ‘Youth’ in Mariupol
Palace of Culture ‘Youth’ in Mariupol
Mariupol, Donetsk region Palace of Culture ‘Youth’ in Mariupol

Formerly Palace of Culture of the Azovstal plant. The building of the former Continental hotel (1887–1910).

Mariupol, Donetsk region
Official status:
Architectural Monument of local significance
House / Palace of Culture
between 1887 and 1910
Date of destruction:

Before April 25, 2022.

Almost every city in Europe once had its own ‘Continental’ hotel. And each building has its own unique history. So does the Ukrainian ‘Continental’ in Mariupol. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many postcards people would send to friends, relatives, and colleagues with sincere greetings, featured this building.

The building belonged to the family of Tomaso, a local entrepreneur of Italian descent. In fact, these postcards are photo evidence of two construction stages of the building. The first one was completed in 1898, when the hotel premises were the first spot in the city to be illuminated by electric light from a private power plant running on kerosene engines. The second stage was completed in 1910, when the concert hall was built and the first floor was made into a restaurant. The three-storey hotel building had an elegant facade, windows framed by graceful stone ligatures, and relief walls.

The ‘Continental’ hotel was the most innovative and luxurious place in Mariupol in the early 20th century, a center of cultural life and a magnet for the intelligentsia. Famous guests from all over the Russian Empire and Europe stayed in ‘Continental’: actors, musicians, and filmmakers who came to Mariupol on tour. Salons, lectures, meetings of scientific and literary circles were held here. The hotel restaurant was considered the best in the city. The basement hosted the first city electrified printing shop of the Goldryn brothers.


After April 25, 2022. Photo: @kinvshchuk

After the Soviets’ rise to power, there was the headquarters of the Commander of the Black and Azov Naval Forces, later — a trade union centre. During the Nazi German occupation, one of the German headquarters was here. In the post-war period, the building became the palace of culture of the Azovstal plant. However, soon it was moved to another location, thus the building stood empty until 2010, when the factory management handed it over to the city community.

Thus, in the first decade of the XXI century, it was converted to the Palace of Culture ‘Youth’ — the centre of youth movements and creative development. In 2019, a centre of contemporary art opened here under the historical name ‘Hotel Continental’. It became a multidisciplinary platform for the promotion of contemporary Ukrainian culture in Ukraine and abroad. Cultural life flourished here with numerous concerts and performances, festivals, art exhibitions, stand-up evenings, lectures and workshops, art residencies.

With the outbreak of Russia’s invasive war against Ukraine, the basement of the Palace of Culture became a shelter for hundreds of people seeking refuge in the almost destroyed city. On April 20, 2022, the ‘Continental’ hotel was shelled and almost destroyed by the Russian occupiers, with all its rich cultural history.

Whatever stored the memories has now become a memory itself.

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