If someone were to tell you that there was a gigantic hotel less than two hundred feet away from a beautiful beach that has never been used, would you believe them? Would you believe that such a massive hotel set in some of the most amazing surroundings has never seen a single guest? Well, if you would be willing to believe it, you’ll find it on the beautiful Reugen Island of Germany somewhere in the Baltic Sea. And when you find it, you will be truly surprised at just how massive this hotel is.
Stretching over three miles of beachfront property, this hotel is one of the largest in the world. So how is it that no guest has ever had a vacation stay in this behemoth? The answer lies in the origins of this hotel.
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.
When war officially began in 1939, the hotel began to be used for military and war-effort purposes. It housed soldiers, refugees, and possibly even prisoners for various lengths of time. After the war ended, the entire resort was mostly abandoned and began falling into disrepair. In the time after the war but before German reunification, the structure was used by the East German Army for housing soldiers and other operations, but very little was done in the way of maintenance or improvements. Once the Berlin Wall came down and Germany was reunified, the resort was abandoned entirely and became a location for curious teenagers and young adults to explore and vandalize.
With the state of disrepair that this structure was in, officials in Germany were considering demolition to solve the problem. However, it was later decided that this massive complex should be given landmark status. It was given this status but did not immediately receive any repairs or investments. Years later, many investors began to look more closely at this sprawling complex and saw an opportunity in it. Yes, it was worn down by weather and curious, destructive youngsters; but most of the structure was still very much intact and it would be quite a shame for such a place to simply decompose on such a beautiful beach.
In the early 2000s, these investors teamed up with architects and real estate developers to bring this hotel back to life. The project is still ongoing but that doesn’t mean that buyers aren’t already interested. As of this year (2015), more than 50 of the larger rooms in this complex have been sold as flats and more buyers are lining up to have their own permanent slice of this reinvented paradise. The history of this resort may be a bit dark, but its future is looking brighter than anyone could have imagined.