The world’s longest building is a beach resort built by the Nazis. It never opened.


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The world’s longest building is a 3-mile-long resort built by the Nazis that never opened and lay vacant for 72 years following its completion in 1939, apart from some uses by the military. Its first tenant as a resort was a youth hostel that opened in 2011, occupying an eighth of the structure. Soon after that the German state sold off half of the remainder to real estate investors, who in turn began selling it off as million-dollar vacation apartments. This follows a established pattern of intentional wealth redistribution from the middle- and lower classes to the ultra-rich, as the former social-democratic state sells its assets at below-market value to speculators. (A typical example is Berlin, which has sold off 80% of its public housing stock to investors who routinely turn 1,000-percent profits in the deals.)

It’s called Prora, it’s on the Baltic sea, and in a straight line it would stretch the entire width of Manhattan and across the Hudson River to New Jersey. It’s nearly impossible depict the whole building in photographs because in any view that shows it in its entirely, all that’s visible is nondescript grey line.aerial bing 1 crop enhance 50Prora resort is highlighted

Although it is one of the foremost examples of grandiose Nazi architecture, Prora is not  well-known.  I’m not sure why – perhaps because it doesn’t have any of the bombastic features associated with fascist buildings. The design is functional and neutral, apart from the length. Perhaps because it played only the most minimal of roles in historical events, given that it was never used. Incidentally, if you want to split hairs, it’s split into eight blocks. Although they are closely spaced, this could put its longest-building status in question.

P1040156_1 wikipedia

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