"Chaika" is one of the oldest hotels in Karaganda city, in which many famous scientists, people of art, foreign guests and even cosmonauts stayed in the past!
Construction of the hotel facilities (by the way, at that time the hotel bore a simple name of “Guest Inn”) began in the earliest days of the city’s history in 1930’s. A simple two-storey building was the first one to appear. Later in 1946 the second building was constructed and put into service in order to further develop the accommodation facilities. Soon after its opening “Guest Inn” became one of the prestigious hotels in the city.
In 1960’s the hotel was renamed into “Chaika”. It got its name due to the radio signal of the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova. The first female cosmonaut in the world stayed here in 1963. Notably, Valentina Tereshkova was not the only cosmonaut who had a chance to stay in “Chaika” – many other spacemen were also accommodated here.
In 1970’s Karaganda was known as the “space harbour” of the Soviet Union. Due to its peculiar location close to cosmodrome “Baikonur”, the city had the honour to receive such prominent guests as Yuri Gagarin, Yegor Titov and many other Soviet cosmonauts. In Karaganda the famous space explorers had their post-flight rehabilitation, as well as took part in press-conferences organized shortly after their return from orbitary flights. Notably, many cosmonauts spent their first hours of rest within the walls of “Chaika”. This fact is proven by the commemorative plaques which were hung here in cosmonauts’ honour and which still decorate the walls of the hotel’s oldest building.