Kehlsteinhaus – The Eagle’s Nest

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Kehlsteinhaus - The Eagle’s Nest

Kehlsteinhaus – The Eagle’s Nest

The Kehlsteinhaus – A Retreat Above Berchtesgaden

This beautiful house was given by the Nazi party to Hitler for his 50th birthday. It was meant to be a place where he could entertain dignitaries and was designed to be a retreat from the world. The building took only 13 months to complete and was finished in the summer of 1938.

The Kehlsteinhaus is on top of the Kehlstein mountain and stands at a height of 1,834 metres. The road to reach the eagle’s nest is 6.5 kilometres long and in places is 4 metres wide.

Ride The Elevator To The Top

The final 124 metres of the trip to the Kehlsteinhaus is achieved using a brass elevator that goes up through the heart of the mountain. Hitler’s home (Berghof) was situated on the same mountain but it was not often that he visited his gifted house.

A Target For The Bombs

Although the house was seen as a prime target for Royal Air Force bombers, the bombs actually damaged the Berghof where Hitler lived. The US army was the first to reach the Eagle’s nest and a newsreel showed the infantry drinking wine on the patio in 1945.

Following the end of the war, the Kehlsteinhaus was used as a military command post until 1960 when it was then handed back to the state of Bavaria. These days the house is used as a restaurant and all of the proceeds from sales are donated to charity.

Visitors to Germany are often fascinated by the Eagle’s nest and the view from the top is spectacular as you can see both Germany and Austria. Still in its original state this is a historic building that will conjure up images of the recent historic past.

How To Get To The Kehlsteinhaus

By Air

Saltzburg in Austria is the nearest airport to Berchtesgaden. It is 30 kilometres away and is a drive of around 35 minutes. Or, you can take the bus or train.

By Train

It is a journey of around 1 hour and 10 minutes to Berchtesgaden from the airport. Walk from the terminal to the airport station from where there is an hourly bus to Bad Reichenhall-Kirchberg. Then take a train to Berchtesgaden Hbf. The trains run every 30 minutes. The total journey time is 1 hour 10 minutes.

By Road

Leave the airport on the B1 then take the A10, B160 and B305 to Berchtesgaden. This route involves tolls and crosses the border into Germany. It is only a 30 minute drive and when you get to Berchtesgarden you can park at Obersalzberg. Then you can walk or take the bus to the mountain elevator.

What Else Is There To Do

Hiking In The Alps

If you like walking there are some wonderful hikes in the area. Try the one from Ofneralm which takes between one and one and half hours. As an alternative and a longer option there is the hike from Scharitzkehl which takes between two and a half to three hours. Both of these walks will allow you splendid views on the way to the Kehlsteinhaus.

Visit The Ruins Of Hitler’s Home

Near to the Eagle’s Nest is Hitler’s former home which is the Berghof. It is now in ruins but is worth a look if only to experience the beautiful scenery that is he surrounding area.

An alternative trip is to the salt mine at Berchtesgarden where you can take a guided tour and marvel at the extensive cathedral like caverns and underground lake.

Have a look at more secret places with historical flair in Germany.

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