Dokumentationszentrum in Prora

Located between the cultural area (now the M3 disco) and the entrance hall in Prora is the “Dokumentationszetrum”.  This documentation centre contains a number of exhibits connected to the building complex in Prora  and is well worth a visit.

It starts with a film which lasts 33 minutes about the history and construction of the complex. Outside the small theatre is a model of what the completed building would have looked like.

Outside the theatre, now a disco, at the start of the tour

Outside the theatre, now a disco, at the start of the tour

If you are there at the right time (and have paid the €2 supplemental charge) you can join at tour at this point. The tours start at 11.45am and 2.30pm.  The tour starts by explaining the model and then goes outside the building. It takes you through areas of the grounds that you may otherwise not discover on your own and uses photos taken during and after construction to show you what it once looked like. [Read more…]

Prora: a litte-known piece of German history

Located on the eastern coast of Rügen is a piece of German history, that until two years ago I had heard nothing about. And yet, it stretches over 4km along that coast.

Nicknamed the “Koloss” of Prora, it is a remnant of the 1930s when Nazi Regime was looking for large building projects to show of their strength and get people back into work at the same time.

The idea was for a seaside resort for “normal” families, the type that would not otherwise have been able to go away on holiday. But rather than encourage individual tourism in the area, they went for something much grander: a complex where 20,000 people could all stay at the same time.

The seaward side of the building in Prora

The seaward side of the building in Prora

Families would pay a certain amount each week in a fund run by the “Kraft durch Freude” (“Strength Through Joy”) organisation, and when they had paid enough they could board a train to the new station at Prora from where it would be only a short walk to the entrance of the complex. There they would be assigned their room numbers. With every bedroom in the complex having a sea view and the front of the building being directly at the beach, just the idea of such a holiday must have been a dream come true for many in those days. [Read more…]

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