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Berchtesgaden's Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest) - California Globetrotter

Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest) in Berechtesgaden

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Part two of our first weekend getaway together included a day trip to Herrnchiemsee and  a quick drive through the country side through the Obersalzberg which is a mountainside which overlooks the small village of Berchtesgaden.

berechtesgadenLocated almost at the very southern tip of Bavaria and on the border between Germany and Austria, Kehlsteinhaus sits at a whopping 6,017 feet made this house a daring project. This region is known for having some pretty stunning views and endless mountains. Perched upon one of the mountains is a house that was built as a birthday gift for Hitler. Rather than demolish it as it was considering quite the accomplishment at the time it was built, after the war it was turned into a restaurant.

 

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This house, also known as Eagle’s Nest, was built for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday present by Martin Bormann. A symbol of the Third Reich, it was intended to be a place of retreat for him and to host guests. No one realized though, that Hitler had a fear of heights and therefore, only visited the house about 10 times and never more than 30 minutes.

You will park your car and find the main bus hub in Obersalzberg, which is where you will be able to buy your tickets for a specific bus and time. You will have to wait around until your bus is ready to go. The house is reachable by taking a bus half way up the mountain along the very cliffs with views not for the fainthearted.

Once the buses arrive at the drop off location, I highly recommend you to buy your return tickets to go back down the mountain and give yourself plenty of time to explore up at the house. 2 hours should be plenty for a look around + some lunch and a beer! Do not wait to buy your tickets after you have walked around the house as buses fill up fast.

IMG_3104You will walk through a cold and damp tunnel which will lead you to a golden brass elevator that takes you up to “summit of power”. The elevator is still the original that was used when the house was first built. Or if you’re feeling really motivated, you can hike up the mountain about two hours.

It was here that some serious political decisions about the mass murder of over 60 million people had been made. Anything that had to do with Hitler was destroyed by the Allies after the war to prevent Neo-Nazis from gathering or making something into a memorial for the ruthless dictator. However, because this house was such an architectural accomplishment during that time and the fact that Hitler only briefly visited the house on several occasions, the house was not demolished. Instead the house was turned into a restaurant in 1952 which offers stunning views over the surrounding Berechtesgaden villages and countryside.

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The restaurant is your typical Munich Hofbrauhaus with the traditional German dishes such as schnitzel and roasted pork. After having an enjoyable lunch with one of the best views in all of Bavaria, we eventually walked around the house and made our way back down the jam packed elevator to the waiting buses. We decided against doing a tour of the actual house, as you can see a good portion of it just walking around the restaurant. However, by doing a tour, you can see the Bunker that had been made for his protection.

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While one shouldn’t come here to revel in Hitler’s glory, one should instead come strictly for the views and the experience and remember those who perished during the Second World War. One must remember that there was nothing glorious about the Third Reich, no matter the architecture and beauty.

Once done at the top, you will take the elevator back down to where the buses are waiting to take you back down the hill. You have to catch the bus at the time stated on your ticket. You can spend up for 2-3 hours at the top. Not much more time is needed, unless you plan on doing some hiking. The bus ride alone also offers amazing views as it hugs the edge of the cliffs. If you’re afraid of heights like Hitler, I suggest you stay home!🙂

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Things To Know Before You Go

  • Take the A8 and exit at Bad Reichenhall or Salzburg Süd to Berchtesgaden. (**Be careful if you plan to drive over the Austrian border, you will need to buy a vignette which costs 8,80€ for 5 days)
  • Follow the Obersalzburg road to the Hintereck Parking area
  • Parking costs 3€ and fills up fast! Best to get there early!
  • Road trip tickets cost 15€
  • Strollers are not allowed, but you can leave them in a safe area down by the buses.
  • 2-3 hours is plenty of time to enjoy a look around, lunch/dinner + a beer.
  • English tours are available a few times a day which costs an extra 5€ per person.

Getting there

By car take the A8 and exit at Bad Reichenhall or at Salzburg Süd to Berchtesgaden and from there the Obersalzberg road to the Hintereck parking area at Obersalzberg.

Possible ways of reaching Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest) 

  • RVO-Bus from Hintereck parking area to the Eagle’s Nest parking area
  • Or hike from Ofneralm up to the Eagle’s Nest parking area (approx. 1½ to 2 hours)
  • Or hike from Scharitzkehl parking area to the Eagle’s Nest parking area on a trail that offers beautiful panoramic views. (approx. 2 ½ to 3 hours)

For more information on Kehlsteinhaus:

Kehlsteinhaus Website

Be sure to also check out Berchtesgaden

After going up to Kehlsteinhaus, we headed into the small village of Berchtesgaden for dinner and a quick look around. You could see that it was a very beautiful town which is surrounded by the high mountains, dense forests and glaciers of the Berechtesgaden National Park.

We walked down to the river and grabbed a romantic moment on their covered bridge with a view of the Watzmann mountains in the distance.

And a short distance from there is Ramsau

Before heading out, we also stopped real quick at one of the most iconic churches in Bavaria, located in the small Bavarian village of Ramsau called the Parish Church of St. Sebastian.

Ramsau, Germany - California Globetrotter

 

More to do in the region:

Your 10 Day Guide to Bavaria

Bavaria’s Loveliest Lake: Königssee

A Cable Car Ride to the Jenner

Königssee Almabtrieb: Cows With Flowers!

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Author: California Globetrotter

At 14 I started traveling the world with my parents and was hooked! By 21 I was studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. By 26 I sold all of my belongings and bought a one way ticket to Germany to teach English. Little did I know, I'd meet the love of my life and end up traveling to the most romantic and idyllic towns in Europe and becoming a long-term expat in Bavaria! My name is Lorelei and I'm just your typical CaliGirl, Sunset Chaser, Fairytale Dreamer, Dress Lover, Traveloholic, Beer Drinker!

22 thoughts on “Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest) in Berechtesgaden

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  11. These photos are stunning! I would have been terrified to be up there, but the views totally make it worth it! #MondayEscapes

    Kate | http://www.petiteadventures.org/

  12. Such a beautiful place! I like when you are able to visit a gorgeous natural place and then have the opportunity to check out some cute, small towns.

  13. We are planning to go here in the next few weeks. My husband loves seeing all the WWII sights, so I had no idea what to expect here, but OMG is it gorgeous!!! Now I can’t wait either.

    #MondayEscapes

  14. I think it would have felt a bit strange knowing Hitler was once there! But the views are stunning. Thanks for sharing on #MondayEscapes

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  16. We really want to see this on our next visit. Thank you for the insights. We love your sense of adventure and spirit! My wife wants to live in Switzerland as she’s half Swiss. Maybe one day. For now San Diego will have to do.

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  18. I’m from northern California. When I was 18/19, I went traveling to Germany (and Europe) for adventure and to use/improve the German I learned in school. I hitchhiked to Berchtesgaden, and got a job working on the Olympic bobsled track on the Konigsee. I lived in Berchtesgaden. That was in 1973/74. It was a special place and time for me. I revisited a couple times over the years, and still stay in contact with a couple friends in Berchtesgaden.

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