Prora: The Nazi Mega-Hotel That Never Saw A Single Guest

Prora is a seaside hotel built by the Nazis as a vacation resort for 20,000 people at a time. The eight massive buildings cover three miles of beachfront on the Baltic Sea. Although it’s been there for almost 80 years, no tourist has ever checked in.    

Construction of this colossal resort began in the year 1936. For anyone with the faintest knowledge of world history, you may suspect that this means the resort was built by the Nazis under the orders of Adolf Hitler (and you would be correct in this suspicion). The resort was designed and built by the Nazis as part of the “Strength through Joy” program, or “Kraft durch Freude” in German, with the intention of making it the “go-to” vacation spot of the National Socialist Party’s tired workers. At least three other similar sites were planned but never built since war broke out in 1939, before construction could even begin on these auxiliary sites. But not before construction of this site was finished. This hotel/resort was to be filled with Nazi propaganda and even include a dock for the “Strength through Joy” cruise line.

The buildings were put to use during wartime, but not for tourists. Except for some military use, it’s been abandoned since then. But in just the last few years. plans are being made to rehabilitate the facility and open it up to investors, tourists, and even permanent residents. Read about the history of Prora and its possibilities for the future, with plenty of pictures, at When on Earth. -via the Presurfer  

(Image credit: Steffen Löwe)

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I know of at least one ship - the Wilhelm Gustloff - that was built to be a cruise ship. It was used as such before being turned into a hospital ship.

I recommend reading about the ship and its fate. I will tell you that it was torpedoed and sank with an estimated 9,400 civilians onboard. There's much more to the story than that, though.
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My grade school history lessons of the Nazis said that there were a number of projects like this one. Not vacation spots, but of military installations that were called anything else so as to bypass the Treaty of Versailles. Did anyone really believe that the ships being built were for a cruise line?
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