Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest Retreat – Berchtesgaden, Germany

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Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest Retreat – Berchtesgaden Germany 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Legend: Red locations indicate headquarters that were used by Hitler. Grey locations indicate headquarters that were not used by Hitler (but intended to); they were however used by other military officials. The locations are given in parenthesis (). Borders are at the height of Axis domination (1942), and dotted borders are present (2007) borders. Some regions have German designations (e.g. “Ostland”), with the present country name denoted in uppercase letters in parenthesis below the German designation (e.g. “(AUSTRIA)”), or without any German designation (e.g. “(ESTONIA)”).

Countries that were part of the Axis/annexed by Axis are colored dark green (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania & Italy etc). Countries that were occupied by the Axis are colored light green, except “Vichy France”, colored light green but marked as “unoccupied”. Countries that were part of the Allies are colored blue (United Kingdom) and red (Soviet Union). Neutral countries are colored grey (Switzerland & Sweden).

Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” was designed and built for Adolf Hilter’s 50th Birthday by his personal secretary and Head of the Nazi Party Chancellery Martin Bormann.  The monument is called “Kehlsteinhaus” in German because of it was originally intended to be a “Teahouse” for the head of the Third Reich.  This mountain-top hideaway played a prominent role as the main unit objective in HBO’s critically acclaimed mini-series “Band of Brothers.”
Construction and usage
The Kehlsteinhaus was commissioned by Martin Bormann, with construction proceeding over a 13-month period. It was completed in the summer of 1938, prior to its formal presentation to Hitler on his 50th birthday on April 20, 1939. It is situated on a ridge at the top of the Kehlstein mountain 1,834 m (6,017 ft), reached by a 6.5 km (4.0 mi) long and 4 m (13 ft) wide road that cost ℛℳ 30 million to build (about 150 million euros in 2007, adjusted in line with inflation). It includes five tunnels but only one hairpin turn and climbs 800 m (2,600 ft).

The last 124 m (407 ft) up to the Kehlsteinhaus are reached by an elevator bored straight down through the mountain and linked via a tunnel through the granite below that is 124 m (407 ft) long. The inside of the large elevator car is surfaced with polished brass, Venetian mirrors and green leather (the elevator is still used daily). Construction of the mountain elevator system cost the lives of 12 construction workers. The main reception room is dominated by a fireplace of red Italian marble, presented by Mussolini, which was damaged by Allied soldiers chipping off pieces to take home as souvenirs. Much of the furniture was designed by Paul László.

A significant event held at the Kehlsteinhaus was the wedding reception that followed the marriage of Eva Braun‘s sister Gretl to Hermann Fegelein on June 3, 1944. The event was filmed and amongst others Martin Bormann can be seen there. The building is often mistakenly referred to as a “tea house”, a corruption of its abbreviated name, “D-Haus”, short for “Diplomatic Reception Haus”. As a result it is frequently confused with the actual tea house at Hitler’s Berghof, the Mooslahnerkopf Teehaus, he visited daily after lunch.

Although the site is on the same mountain as the Berghof, Hitler rarely visited the property. It has been suggested he only visited the Kehlsteinhaus around 10 times, and most times for no more than 30 minutes. However he did receive André François-Poncet (the departing French ambassador to Germany) there on October 18, 1938. As a result of the lack of close association with Hitler the property was saved from demolition at the end of the war.

The allied bombing and battles of World War II left the building intact and today the Eagle’s Nest remains in its original state.  In the years after the war, the Eagle’s Nest and the surrounding area of Berchtesgaden remained a part of US Armed Forces property in southeastern Germany.  The US military set up a recreation center where servicemembers could hike in the summer and ski in the winter.  The US military returned the area to Germany in the 1990s.

At that time, the German government demolished the American General Walker Hotel at Obersalzberg, to make way for the existing bus depot that serves the Eagle’s Nest.

Guided Tours of the Eagle’s Nest and Berchtesgaden – CLICK HERE!

TODAY: Today, you can get there by taking the local bus or driving from Berchtesgaden to Obersalzberg, a small village community.  At Obersalzberg, you must buy tickets on the Eagle’s Nest bus (the road is closed to privately-owned vehicles) which takes you up the mountain.  This bus route provides some of the most spectacular views of the German and Austrian Alps.

At the end of the bus ride, you will walk through a marble-lined tunnel 400 feet into the heart of the mountain.  There you will ride the original brass elevator 400 feet straight up into the Eagle’s Nest building at the top of the mountain.

There you will be able to walk around the grounds at 6017 feet altitude and enjoy the spectacular scenery.

You can combine this wonderful day trip with a stay in the nearby city of Salzburg, which is just across the German border with Austria.  Or you may want to visit other World War II historical sights in the area, such as the Hofbräuhaus and Dachau Concentration Camp in Munich.

File:HitlerEagleNest45 crop.jpg

1945 photo of entrance tunnel to elevator going up to the Kehlsteinhaus, visible at top

TOUR: Tickets to the Eagle’s Nest can be purchased at Obersalzberg.  Busses leave for the Eagle’s Nest every 20-30 minutes from 8:00am to 4:00pm daily from May to October.  For more information, call +49 8652 2969 from May – October, or +49 8652 61244 from November – April.

Cheap Car Rentals from Munich’s Franz Josef Airport

Cheap Car Rentals from Frankfurt Airport

Click Here to map the Eagle’s Nest!

Berchtesgaden’s Castle was originally the seat of the small church state until it became the summer residence of the Bavarian royal family in 1810. The Augustine Abbey of Canons founded in 1102 eventually became an independent church state within the German Empire and became a prince-provostry in 1559.

Until it was secularized in 1803 the monastery remained the residence of the ruling lords of Berchtesgaden. The castle complex is the result of centuries of construction, alterations and additions that continued until the end of the 1700s. Though it is still privately owned by the Bavarian royal family, the main rooms are open to the public on regularly-scheduled guided tours.

Additional information at: www.haus-bayern.com


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