In 1936, three years before Germany invaded Poland and started World War II, Adolf Hitler ordered the construction of the world’s largest tourist resort, located on a beachfront property on the island of Rügen.
The Nazis called it Prora.
Hitler never finished construction on Prora because of the war. As German soldiers marched through Europe, Prora was left to rot — until 2013.
Prora is now the property of the German real-estate company Metropole Marketing, which rents out rooms to international travellers and Germans alike.
Here are a handful of wild facts about the megastructure.
Roger Moorhouse, a historian and tour guide, told Business Insider that Prora was intended as the carrot to the stick of the Gestapo -- as a pacifying gesture to get the German people on Hitler's side.
At the time, Germany was enmeshed in the World War I concept of 'people's community,' or 'volksgemeinschaft,' in which Germans would stand united, no matter what.
While the Nazi police state was in development, the overarching German vision was a hopeful one, Moorhouse told Business Insider. 'And this,' he said, 'is where something like Prora comes in.'
Each room would measure 16 feet by 8.2 feet and include two beds, a sink, and a dresser.
Hitler commissioned a festival hall in the center of Prora that would be large enough to hold all 20,000 residents at once.
Hitler's megalomania -- a trait shared by many dictators -- was also manifested in his plan for the Festival Hall. The Nazi leader commissioned the architect Erich zu Putlitz to design it.
The hall was designed to contain two wave pools and theatres for movies and live performance.
'The photos cannot physically do it justice,' Moorhouse said. 'It's too big.'
By all accounts, it would have been one of the most impressive structures in the world.
In the early 2000s, several German developers fought for the initial rights to revive Prora.
In 2006, Germany's federal agency for real estate bought Block 5, which contained the hostel. It opened in 2011.
People who want to stay at Prora can choose between hotel rooms for temporary visits or luxury apartments as long-term investments.
The apartments run from $US400,000 to $US900,000 depending on the block they're in and their size.
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