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Visiting Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden

Visiting Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden
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Frenchie and I were really enjoying our stay at Berghotel Rehlegg. And even thought our suite with a huge private jacuzzi and mountain views tempted us to stay in our room most of the time, the breathtaking nature of Berchtesgaden was calling!

One of the places you simply have to visit, when you are in the Bavarian Alps is Kehlsteinhaus, a.k.a. the Eagle’s Nest! Kehlsteinhaus was built under the rule of the National Socialists as a gift for Adolf Hitler to mark his 50th birthday

During the Second World War, the building was used for state occasions and government meetings. No bombs or enemy attacks ever impacted the building, allowing it to survive in its original form, right up until today. Since 1960, the Kehlsteinhaus has housed a mountain restaurant, commanding stunning panoramic view of peaks up to 200 kilometres away

The Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest) on Obersalzberg Mountain in Berchtesgaden is located at a height of 1820m above sea level and is a popular day-trip destination

We had rented a car – and getting here was a bit of a challenge! (Let’s just say that our rented car did not have the motor needed to go way up in the mountains!) You can’t drive all the way to Eagle’s Nest by yourself. At some point you will arrive at a huge parking area (Obersalzberg), where you need to leave your car and jump on a bus (thank God for that – our car wouldn’t have survived!)

From here you can take a bus up to the top – or enjoy a foot march offering magnificent sweeping views of the Bavarian Lake Königssee. We chose a bus and there are several of them leaving approximately every 15 mins

There are two ways to approach and enter the building. One is the road and the other is the Kehlsteinhaus elevator. (It has been said that Hitler did not trust the elevator and disliked using it)

It was a bit of a walk to reach the elevator – and I dont think that people with claustrophobia would enjoy this very much. (Remember to bring a sweater. It is humid and chilly in here)

The waiting room in front of the elevator shaft set deep in the mountain

Finally we had arrived… And yes, it was definitely worth the hustle and bustle!

So what is really up here? Well, once at the top, you can explore most of the rooms and enjoy something to eat or drink in the same spot that Hitler, Eva Braun, Himmler and the rest had their banquets and entertained foreign diplomats. Outside, just past the beer garden terrace, a path leads up to a higher point well worth the short climb

When the weather is with you, the panorama is incredible. Right at eye level with the Alps, looking over both Germany and Austria, the jagged mountains march away in all directions. On a clear day, you can even see Salzburg

 

Sometimes pictures describe a thousand words, right? 

The Kehlstein itself is over 6000 feet (1834m) high, and it is steep. There are vertical drops, that can make you feel quite dizzy even if you don’t normally suffer from vertigo. But you can easily clamber up to the actual peak, which lies a bit above the Kehlsteinhaus.

Here you will find a beautiful memorial cross for all the mountaineers who have lost their lives in the area

We ended our tour with a late lunch at the mountain restaurant with a stunning view

I got myself a new furry friend…

– who was probably more interested in the food than getting to know me…

The Eagle’s Nest is probably the first priority for most tourists who come to the Berchtesgaden land– but if you expect a lot of historical information there isn’t much to be found up here. In other words “If you know nothing about Eagle’s Nest, there is very little that would point it out to you”. The impressive scenery, the dramatic approach on the winding road by bus, and the glorious mountain views from the top are certainly much more in your face than the historical connections, which is fine by me. But if you are curious about the various historical aspects involved a guided tour would be advisable
The Kehlsteinhaus is open from the beginning of May to the end of October

 

X Louise

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