Germany's largest building is a six-story, four-kilometer Nazi-built resort called Prora, located on an island in the Baltic Sea. Originally called "Kraft durch Freude" (Strength Through Joy), it's big enough to house 20,000 people. It was supposed to be even bigger, but World War II disrupted its construction. The building languished mostly unused until three and a half years ago, when a youth hostel moved in. I sense a Hostel sequel coming on.
After the reunification of Germany, the Prora complex, which is unique in the world, was given a heritage listing, placing certain hurdles in the way of would-be entrepreneurs seeking to develop it. Most of the blocks are completely empty. However, with the opening of the youth hostel, and given Rügen's growing popularity as a place for vacation homes and B&Bs, attitudes toward the complex are changing.
German hostel association Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk installed a hostel in one tiny corner of Prora. The site has 400 beds, making it their biggest hostel. 1000 guests have stayed so far. Would you? Or are giant Nazi things just too creepy? [WorldCrunch, Die Welt via Time, image via Rhodes' Flickr]