The sumptuous lodging now known as the Citadel Inn was not always known for fine wines and pressed sheets. It was originally built as an imposing fortress before being converted into a Nazi “Tower of Death.”
The Second Maximilian Tower, as the structure was originally known, is a circular red fort sitting on a hilltop that overlooking the Ukrainian city of Lviv. It was constructed as part of a program that would have seen similar towers erected in every Ukrainian city as a measure to deter civilian uprising via the ever-present reminder of the state’s military strength. While the tower was never used militarily on its own people, when World War II broke out, the structure was taken over by Nazi forces and turned into a small (by comparison) concentration camp.
Known as Stalag 328, the citadel served as a detention location for Soviet prisoners (among others). The Nazi policy for the treatment of Red Army soldiers was to starve them to death, which the prison did often and without compunction. During its occupation by the Nazis, over 100,000 prisoners are said to have been killed, earning the site the nickname, “Tower of Death.”
After World War II, the site was abandoned to private usage until the early 2000’s when the location was purchased by investors who converted the space into a lush, five-star hotel destination known as the Citadel Inn. The Inn continues to welcome guests with no plaque, signage, or indication of the building’s true history of fear and death.
Visit Ukraine withAtlas Obscura Trips
Kyiv, Chernobyl, and the Borders of Bessarabia
On this once-in-a-lifetime tour of Ukraine, Transnistria, and Moldova, we'll delve deep into local cultures and traditions, explore unusual underground spaces, and visit an unrecognized republic.