A Nazi era resort town redeveloped and open for business

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Tourism

A Nazi era resort town redeveloped and open for business

In this aerial view blocks of the Prora building complex stretch along the beach on Ruegen Island on June 15, 2017 in Binz, Germany.
Getty Images

More than 75 years after Adolph Hitler's commissioned a dream tourist destination nestled near the Baltic Sea, the Nazi-era resort has been redeveloped for the general public.

Prora, which is located on the north eastern German Baltic coast on Rüegen Island, was originally commissioned by Hitler as a massive, 4.5 kilometers long beach holiday resort complex for German workers, under a program called "Strength through Joy."

The original plans called for a festival hall and rooms located in eight, 450 meter-long blocks to accommodate 20,000 guests, with each room facing the sea. However, construction halted in 1939, and during World War II the complex housed Soviet soldiers. Decades later, the German government, which assumed administration after 1989, sold the five existing blocks to private investors.

Fast forward to 2017, and Prora is now a massive real estate development. While some parts are still in ruins, others have been rehabilitated to include a hotel, holiday apartments, a museum and a youth hostel.

As this resort destination comes alive almost 78 years later, Getty Images photographer Sean Gallup, captured the current state of development on the island.

  • Visitors on bicycles ride past the construction of holiday apartments at Block 1 of the Prora building complex.

  • Visitors on bicycles ride past the construction site of holiday apartments at Block 1 of the Prora building complex on Ruegen Island on June 14, 2017 in Binz, Germany.
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  • A swimming pool stands next to completed holiday apartments at Block 2. 

    A swimming pool stands next to completed holiday apartments in Block 2 of the Prora building complex on Ruegen Island on June 15, 2017 in Binz, Germany.
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  • People stand in the lobby of the completed Prora Solitaire hotel at Block 2.

    People stand in the lobby of the completed Prora Solitaire hotel in Block 2 of the Prora building complex on Ruegen Island on June 14, 2017 in Binz, Germany.
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  • A furnished holiday apartment with view to the Baltic Sea awaits visitors at the completed Prora Solitaire hotel at Block 2.

    A furnished holiday apartment with view to the Baltic Sea awaits visitors at the completed Prora Solitaire hotel in Block 2 of the Prora building complex on Ruegen Island on June 14, 2017 in Binz, Germany.
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  • A picture of a tank serves as a reminder of the building's East German military past.

    A picture of a tank bears evidence to the building's East German military past at the Prora building complex on Ruegen Island on June 15, 2017 in Binz, Germany.
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  • A former guest reception hall that was later converted into a gymnasium stands in the Prora building complex.

    The former guest reception hall that was later converted into a gymnasium stands in the Prora building complex on Ruegen Island on June 15, 2017 in Binz, Germany.
  • Visitors walk past a curved building in the central area of the Prora building complex. 

  • Visitors walk past a curved building in the central area of the Prora building complex on Ruegen Island on June 14, 2017 in Binz, Germany.
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  • The ruin of a portion at Block 5.

    The ruin of a portion of Block 5 of the Prora building complex stands on Ruegen Island on June 14, 2017 in Binz, Germany.
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  • Visitors walk along the resort's beach.

    Visitors walk to the beach near the Prora building complex on Ruegen Island on June 14, 2017 in Binz, Germany.
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  • Visitors returning from a day at the beach walk past an advertisement for holiday apartments at Block 3.

    Visitors, who said they did not mind being photographed, returning from a day at the beach walk past an advertisement for holiday apartments at the construction site at Block 3 of the Prora building complex on Ruegen Island on June 14, 2017 in Binz, Germany.
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  • Visitors relax on the patio of a cafe at Block 2.

    Visitors relax on the patio of a cafe at Block 2, which is being converted into holiday apartments, of the Prora building complex on Ruegen Island on June 14, 2017 in Binz, Germany.
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  • Aerial view of the Prora building complex stretch near the beach.

    In this aerial view blocks of the Prora building complex stretch near the beach on Ruegen Island.
    Getty Images