The swimming pool of the former Ducor Palace Hotel
The swimming pool area of the former Ducor Palace Hotel in Monrovia, Liberia. The Ducor Palace Hotel in Monrovia was the first international-class hotel constructed in Liberia, and was for many years one of the few five-star hotels in all of Africa. It had three hundred rooms, a pool, tennis courts, and a French restaurant and was popular with tourists and businesspeople from Africa and around the world. It sits on Ducor Hill and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and the Saint Paul River. The hotel closed in 1989, just before the First Liberian Civil War. The building was severely damaged by the violence of the war and the looting that occurred afterwards. During and after the war, displaced residents of many of Monrovia's slums began to occupy the hotel's empty rooms. In 2007, the Liberian Ministry of Justice began to evict the Ducor Hotel's residents and in 2008, the Government of Liberia signed a lease agreement with the Government of Libya, who began clearing the property of debris in 2010 in preparation for a bidding process to be completed by June 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. The building is open today and visitors can walk throughout the grounds and building (often after paying a "security fee" to have one of the guards accompany them). It is a popular place for Monrovia residents to come and enjoy the panoramic view of the city, especially for special occasions like Christmas, New Years, and Independence Day.