On the island of Rügen, between beautiful cliff landscapes and modern resorts, near kilometers of beaches we found a place that is a little scary.
Abandoned Resort Prora
In the town of Prora, right on the shore of the Baltic Sea, you can see a huge abandoned resort complex recalls the times of Hitler. Built in the 30s as the resort for Germans propaganda purposes. This was to be a holiday destination for about 20,000 citizens of the Third Reich. Long time ago organization named “Kraft durch Freude” (Strength through joy) was managing this object. It had to be the place where even normal, not rich citizens could spend holidays seaside.
Resort consisted of 4.5 kilometers long on building and several smaller ones. The construction began in 1935. Main building consists of eight functional blocks separated by staircases and toilets. This resort ought to be luxury by design. You could get here on two ways – by sea ships and narrow-gauge railway.
The main building extends for miles along the coastline giving tourists access to do a wide, sandy beach. In addition to open air sports there were are also attractions such cinema or theater.
And the II WW was begun
They failed to finish the construction due to the beginning of II World War. Construction was never completed. At the time of the start of II WW the building was almost ready. All blocks of flats were ready along with the cinema. Construction of auditorium for 20 000 people and pools has not begun.
The hostilities forced the change of use of a complex. They converted it from tourist function into a shelter. After the war there was located a military base of Red Army first, and then since 1955 the troops of the GDR. Then, for many years this building stood empty, dilapidated, with broken windows. It was subsequently stolen.
Whole area was called “Colossus of Prora”. Without a doubt it was the largest architectural design project of Nazis.
After the reunification of Germany government reminded about this object and wrote Prora into the registry of monuments. Since then new ideas to restore the building to life began to appear. Unfortunately, the estimated renovation costs were so great that the government decided to sell the property in the hands of investors.
Private investors time
Now, a few years later, thanks to investors who work hard to create here a holiday resort again, this place is under big change. Maybe after so many years people will use this place back in its dedicated purpose?
The investment, however, is divided into several stages. Building no 5 was renovated as the first in 2011. With the support of the European Union currently we have youth hostel inside with capacity of 400 people. Some people laugh, that this is now the longest hostel in the world.
Investors who wanted to convert another block into modern apartments bought block number 2. In order to protect the monument investors could not afford to do big changes, thus the attractiveness of the apartments is relatively low. The only permitted by the conservator modification is the possibility of build balconies and terraces from sea side. The rest of the building needs to remain like in Nazi’s design.
It’s cool. New apartments, hotels – it’s still, and on the other hand the history of this place. The current repair process met strange reactions of people. Some people felt that it is fulfilling of Hitler’s will, who wanted to have a tourist destination here. This raises a lot of controversy among the community.
We could read the history of this place on the Internet, from various websites. If you have more time to visit this area you can choose a visit to “Prora Documentation Centre”. It is a small exhibition next to the theater building.
Some businessmen bought part of this buildings. They want to restore this place to life. Is this possible? Do the tourists will go here for holidays? Time will show. Today the buildings are under renovation.
So far, we caught the last moment to see Prora’s abandoned buildings. We were able only to walk around. All entries to the buildings were protected. We saw pictures of old corridors in the internet. For us the walk around was enough. We saw this huge building and raw beach, which probably in a few years will by totally different.
The future of Prora
According to the project it should look like this:
Who knows how this place will change in next few years. Maybe we will visit it again someday to review.