This luxurious five-star hotel was built in 1925 right next to the main railway station, to accommodate the travelers of the famous Orient Express, which was passing through Zagreb. It was one of the most modern hotels in Europe and the center of Zagreb’s cultural and social life, especially during the Roaring Twenties. According to a legend, the first Croatian striptease was held in one of its halls at a farewell celebration for an Italian count. During World War II, it was the central bureau of the German Armed Forces, which organized balls for their officers. One night, the voice of the world famous Italian singer Beniamino Giglio broke the windows of the Emerald Hall. That was his only public performance he did during the war and he has amazed his German public so much that the officers threw money all over him just to hear him sing again. He collected the money in his hat, gave it to the hotel director, who then divided it among the employees. Some other famous hotel guests were Guns’n‘Roses, Elizabeth Taylor, Charles Lindbergh, Queen Elizabeth II, Alfred Hitchcock, Ella Fitzgerald, Leonid Brezhnev, Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong, Hillary R. Clinton, Richard Nixon, Anita Ekberg and Pele. Hotel Esplanade was also the first luxury hotel in Europa having a female kitchen chef and a female patissier chef.