The Kongresshalle looms over Nuremberg like a misplaced relic of ancient Rome. Designed by Franz and Ludwig Ruff in 1935, it was to have been the centerpiece of the vast Nazi party rally grounds, flanked by triumphal parade-grounds and stadiums.
Once designs for the structure were complete, construction was started in earnest and on a vast scale: the completed Kongresshalle would have seated 50,000. One of the centerpieces of Hitler’s fantasy of a thousand-year Reich, its colonnades and layers of archways were designed to echo the Coliseum in Rome - another symbol of an empire triumphant.
The Second World War diverted attention away from the project, and the Kongresshalle was never completed. The building only reached about half its planned height of 70 meters . Much of the interior was Kongresshalle survived the war - and it was landmarked in its half-built state. Today, an exhibition on ‘Fascination and Terror’ is shown in one of its wings, and it can be visited along with the remains of the Nuremberg rally grounds.