The Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow which opened in 1992, is a hotel on the corner of Balchug Street and Sadovnicheskaya Street on an island in downtown Moscow. This historical building is located in the very centre of the ancient capital of Russia, and it offers the most contemporary standards of hospitality and the care of its guests.
The history of the Baltschug began from its magnificent location looking across to the Kremlin and Kitai Gorod.
One of the first people to enjoy the view was one A. Osipov who was the lucky owner of a two-storey stone house situated at the corner of Baltschug Street and the embankment (now Raushskaya Embankment). The apartments which Osipov rented out to visiting merchants, or to those trading in the Baltschug district, were always in demand. Osipov was so successful that his grandsons were able to embark on a much more grandiose project. In 1897 they gave their commission to a very fashionable city architect of the time, A.I. Ivanov.
In less than a year, the old low-level buildings gave way to a tall imposing building, with angular towers, crowned by spires. On the ground floor there was a restaurant, but the upper levels were not designed as apartments for living, but as studios for artists. The roll call of artists who worked here is impressive: A. Kuindzhi, I. Kramskoi, A. Vasnetsov. The view from their studios encompassed the Moscow River Bridge, the Kremlin and St Basil's Cathedral, and it accordingly became one of the most well-known picturesque views of the capital.
The archive records show that the last owner of the building before the 1917 Revolution was the Chancellor to His Majesty’s Court, Bereznikov (although, in accordance with a tradition of that time, the building was actually in the name of his wife). Thanks to these detailed records we also know much about the people who lived here, and who enjoyed the view of the Kremlin and the Moscow River like for example the Academician V.K. Byalynitskiy-Birulya, whose pictures can be found in the Tretyakov Gallery. It was a very multinational building, with German, Austrian, Swiss, Swedish, and British citizens living here. The offices of famous foreign companies were also located here, including the ‘Brothers Nobel’ and ‘Stanley-Smith.’
After the revolution of 1917 and the movement of the capital from Petrograd back to Moscow, the ‘Osipov Building’ was packed to the seams with state officials and offices. However, before long, the building reverted back to its former ‘specialization.’ In 1928 on the map of Moscow a ‘new’ hotel appeared, called the ‘NovoMoskovskaya.’ It was twice increased in height, the last time in 1932; the then seven-storied hotel passed into the hands of the state tourist agency, Intourist. Together with the Metropol, the Savoy and the National, these hotels were used to accommodate, and impress, foreigners visiting the Soviet Union.
In 1939 the hotel was converted into a residential hostel for the Department of Foreign Policy, but sixteen years later it was once again reincarnated, this time as the Hotel Bucharest. Over the years the building began to show its age, and in the 1980s the question of refurbishment came up; this, it was recognized, would require significant investment. The issue was solved in 1989 when a joint Russian-Austrian-Swiss enterprise was formed, ‘Baltschug,’ which placed an order for the construction work with an Austrian company, ‘Austroy Baugezelschafft.’ On 1 October 1992, with the opening of the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow, a new chapter began in the life of the building with the history of hospitality, which stands by the shore of the Moscow River, directly opposite the Kremlin, Red Square and St Basil's Cathedral.