Berchtesgaden is incredibly rich in history and today there are a dozen of museum, walks, salt mines, and bunkers all representing Germany’s past.
If you type in google Berchtesgaden, you will find the following information:
Berchtesgaden is a German town in the Bavarian Alps on the Austrian border. South of town, Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest retreat, the Kehlsteinhaus, has a restaurant with alpine views. The Dokumentation Obersalzberg museum chronicles the Nazi era. Salzbergwerk Berchtesgaden illuminates the salt mine’s 500-year history. Lifts lead to Obersalzberg and Rossfeld ski areas. To the south, trails cross Berchtesgaden National Park.A short overview, but what about the details, read on to find out.
What I like to share is what these places look like as well as write about the maybe not-so-known information.
For example: Eagle’s Nest.
To get to Eagle’s Nest you take a private operated bus and drive up a curvy mountain road for about 20 mins, hop in an elevator located in a cave, hike up for about 5 mins and voilà.
Why should I visit Eagle’s Nest? Short answer: to learn about Germany’s war history and the view. Long answer: Once you get to the top of the Nest there is a pavilion and inside the walls are covered with historical information about the Eagle’s Nest. The information tour talks about important visits (Mussolini was invited up here to conduct work meetings), personal affairs (Eva Braun’s sister got married here), as well as a place to gain perspective (spectacular undisturbed vistas).
The entrance is operated by coin machine and you will need exact change for the fee.
This place is dark, spooky and cold. It’s a place surrounded by fear and emotional torment. I really have never experienced something like this before. Steep staircases take you to different dug out rooms, bathrooms, prison cells and “not so secret now” but target dug out machine gun nests that would kill intruders.
It’s quite the experience!
Today only a small part of the foundations of the famous house remains. It’s easy to find if you follow the signs and don’t mind getting your shoes dirty. For some reason my impression of this property it’s much bigger than what I read about. The actual structure was bombed by the Americans who brieftly occupied this region after the WWII.
Hitler purchased this house (then called Haus Wachenfeld) with his proceeds from publishing Mein Kampf and turned it into a representative mountain retreat.
Trees surrounding this area were also planted after the bombing.
Share your favourite places in Berchtesgaden in the comments below. A lot of people recommended boating on lake Königssee (often referred to as Germany’s most beautiful alpine lake) but it wasn’t the best weather when we were there.
I hope this post helps you plan your next Berchtesgaden visit. Check out my previous post which talks about my hotel recommendation.