A massive Nazi-era holiday resort commissioned by Adolf Hitler is being converted into a hotel and luxury apartments. The complex, named Prora, was designed to accommodate 20,000 holidaymakers in huge buildings which extend almost five kilometres along Rügen Island's Baltic Sea coast.

Relics of the Reich
Work on the Prora-Rügen holiday complex was never completed as it was abandoned on the outbreak of the war in 1939Unknown
Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
A swimming pool stands next to completed holiday apartments in Block 2 of the Prora complexSean Gallup/Getty Images
Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
Blocks of the Prora complex stretch for three miles along the beach on Ruegen IslandSean Gallup/Getty Images

In addition to the the eight housing blocks, there were plans for swimming pools, theatres, cinemas and an enormous hall that could have held all of the resort's 20,000 guests. The resort was part of a Nazi programme known as Strength through Joy – Kraft durch Freude, or KdF – which aimed to win German workers over to the ideals of National Socialism.

KdF laid on subsidised cruises and holidays for Germany's working class, and was the world's largest tour operator in the 1930s. Construction of the complex started in 1936, but it was abandoned when the Second World War broke out in 1939.

Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
A former reception hall that was later converted into a gymnasiumSean Gallup/Getty Images
Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
A heap of rubble is pictured during the process of converting Block 3 of the Prora complex into holiday apartmentsSean Gallup/Getty Images
Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
Visitors walk past a building that once houses a discothequeSean Gallup/Getty Images
Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
A window looks out onto the ruins of a former East German military prison at the Prora complexSean Gallup/Getty Images
Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
Aerial view of part of the Prora building complexSean Gallup/Getty Images

After the war, the Soviet Army took control of the region and established a base at Prora. In the late 1950s the complex became a restricted military area, used for training recruits and imprisoning enemies of the state.

Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
A dilapidated stairway in November 2010Wikimedia Commons/Wusel007
Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
A inside view of the Prora complex in August 2016Tobias Schwarz/AFP
Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
Peeling paint and debris are seen in a corridor in March 2011Wikimedia Commons/Wusel007
Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
A view of a corridor in March 2011Wikimedia Commons/Wusel007

After the reunification of Germany, the buildings lay empty while developers hatched a variety of unrealised plans. Today Prora is a massive real estate development, with some parts still in ruins while others have been transformed into a hotel, holiday apartments, a museum and a youth hostel.

Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
Workers help to turn a section of Block 1 of the Prora complex into holiday apartmentsSean Gallup/Getty Images
Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
People stand in the lobby of the completed Prora Solitaire hotel in Block 2 of the complexSean Gallup/Getty Images
Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
A furnished holiday apartment with views of the Baltic Sea in the completed Prora Solitaire hotelSean Gallup/Getty Images
Prora Ruegen Nazi Germany holiday camp
Visitors look out to the Baltic sea from the beach near the Prora complex on Ruegen IslandSean Gallup/Getty Images