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rora is considered today to be the biggest hotel in the world with over 10,000 rooms available and spanning over a length of three miles. Many people see this as the newest attraction in Europe but they do not know the history behind it.

This holiday resort was actually built by Nazi Germany between 1936 and 1939. The resort was built on the Rugen island from the Baltic Sea in North Germany to offer its citizens the possibility to have a holiday at sea without needing to travel to other countries.

Unfinished Business

Since Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 as the Chancellor of Germany he made many promises to the citizens who voted for the Nazi Party. His main goal besides integrating a fascist regime within Germany was to give the population of Germany the best quality of life possible.

Their hard work had to be compensated in some way. Germany was at the rapid growth in the 1930s and the country didn’t have many holiday resorts. Everyone was a bit fed up going to the mountainside for a holiday so Hitler thought that something must be done to please everyone with a Holiday at the seaside.

The Rugen island is a hidden gem of Germany during the summertime. That is where Hitler’s idea sprung, of making a huge Holiday resort for every citizen to enjoy. The way it should have worked based on the scheme Hitler planned is that every family within Germany would get a week off to come to the resort for free.

This was to thank the population of Germany for their loyalty and hard work to reinforce the economy. Now, this was the plan and Hitler’s intentions but if this same scheme would have been applied in practice we would never know.

The Prora resort on the Isle of Rügen under construction in 1938 (Credit/Source: Stefan Sauer/Dokumentationszentrum Prora)

Everyone was looking forward to this amazing project but the costs would have been immense. This would however be covered by the economic boom that took place during 1933 and 1936 with the implementation of new Nazi government laws that actually massively pumped the production of goods and exportation within Germany.

20 Reichsmark note (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

An exact price for the project was never estimated but in the three years of construction the government spent over 237.5 million Reichsmarks (currency used at the time in Germany). In U.S dollars that would have been at the time 59 million dollars and if we take into consideration inflation today that would be 1.1 billion dollars (to be exact $1,110,312,086.33)! The way of getting some of the investment back was to open the resort to international tourism.

Prora Holiday Resort in construction during 1939 (Source: RareHistoricalPhotos)

The construction started in 1936 with over 9,000 workers and by the summer of 1939, it was almost finished. With the beginning of the Second World War on the first of September 1939, the constructions were put on hold and never touched since then. No one during the 20th century had the chance to use this holiday resort.

Future of the resort

For the last 70 or so years, the resort and all of its infrastructure were left there to rot. This was until 2016 when the German government started to sell these buildings off in a shame to reinforce tourism within Germany. One of these unfinished blocks was sold for around $500,000 U.S. dollars. Most of them were brought by investors who developed them into hotels.

The first hotel to open in Prora from the huge Block complex was Block 2 owned by Prora Solitaire Hotel in the summer of 2016. By 2017 some of the blocks were reconstructed and sold to people as flats.

In the video above, which was taken in the summer of 2020, you can see that most of it have been renovated and opened to the public, but due to the pandemic, it never received a lot of international attention.

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