The Kehlsteinhaus (known in English as the Eagles Nest) was commissioned for Hitlers 50th birthday and took 13 months to build. It lies on the tip of a mountain (the Kehlstein), 1834m above sea level and is one of the most popular attractions in southern Germany.
The house was built as a quiet retreat for Hitler, and it was conveniently situated not far from his usual Obersalzberg residence - the Berghof. However, Hitler only visited the site a few times, as he found it too insecure.
Luckily, the house was spared from bombing during World War 2 because it was small and difficult to pick out from the mountains around it. Many Nazi buildings were destroyed after the war (including the Berghof), but after extensive lobbying the Kehlsteinhaus was spared.
Today the historic building houses a restaurant serving traditional Bavarian food. From the restaurant, visitors can get a good view of Königsee and the surrounding mountains.
House is reached by bus along the Kehlsteinstrasse - a six and a half kilometer road bored into the side of the mountain. Many regard this as an engineering feat in its own right and many years ahead of its time. As this road is not able to be used by private vehicles, this leaves visitors only two options. One is to walk to the top of the mountain, which takes about 2 hours. The other is to catch the bus which leaves from the bus station at Hintereck. Buses leave every 15 minutes or so, and it pays to get here early as the route can get very full.
At the end of this road is a marble tunnel into the mountainside. From here, visitors will take a lift inside the mountain 124m up to the house itself. The lift is actually two stories high, however most visitors will never notice this.
The bottom floor was used to resupply the kitchen, and unlike the top floor which stops in the house itself, the bottom would stop one floor down in the basement where the supplies would be stored.
The bus station at Hintereck is located near Berchtesgaden. Berchtesgaden itself can be reached by car in about 30 minutes from Salzburg
Alternatively, visitors can catch the train from Salzburg Hauptbahnhof to Berchtesgaden. From there, take bus 849 to Obersalzberg.
From here the special RVO bus runs to the top. This bus must be taken regardless of whether public or private transport is used to get to this point.
At the top, visitors must register a time with buses at the top for the trip back. It is recommended to take at least 2 hours to explore the area at the top.
Beside the bus station at Hintereck (where the buses leave for the Eagles Nest) there is a small museum detailing the history of the area and giving access to the impressive bunker system that was built.
Kehlsteinhaus (Eagles Nest) Reviews
I visited Berchtesgaden last October and took the tour of Eagles Nest through the Berchtesgaden tourist chamber. It was a great experience gaining educational information by the tour guide, who is extremely well versed in historic details. The views and whole experience of being in such a beautiful location were well worth the cost. I highly recommend the tour and the time invested in seeing the beautiful scenery from Lake Konigssee to the view of the distant Hohensalzburg fortress. It was a bit foggy when we started out, but it lifted gradually and we were blessed with great photo opportunities. My daughters and I all agreed we were very pleased that we'd chosen to take that experience in on our venture to Germany and Austria.
Have you already visited the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagles Nest)? If so, let everyone know what you thought about it by writing a review! No registration necessary. Just click here to start writing!