One of the biggest constructions of Nazi Germany can be found in Prora. A holiday complex that never housed tourists—the plan was terminated at the end of World War II—, but which received the grand prize for architecture at the 1937 World’s Fair. Abandoned to fate, it awaits a conversion plan.
Friedrich is not the only illustrious figure associated with Rügen. Scientists like Einstein, politicians like Bismarck and writers such as Thomas Mann all holidayed on Germany’s biggest island (974 km2
). In the 19th
and early 20th
centuries, it was a popular destination for the German upper-class, and its spas were the main attraction. Some are still open, and so is Rasende Roland, a train that connects the coastal towns in the region; albeit at the leisurely speed of just 30 km/h..
Of the spa towns that pepper Rügen, Putbus is the oldest. Its architecture is its best feature: classical and lordly. East of Putbus, you will find Binz, home to another pearl of Rügen: Granitz Hunting Lodge. It was built at the highest point in the south-east of the island, and its focal piece is the winding staircase of 154 steps. About 14km from Binz is Sellin, known for its pier, another coastal icon. In 1998, it was rebuilt based on the historic design from 1927, which had become damaged by inclement weather. The bridge that leads out to the pier is 394m long, and there is a restaurant at the end.