When visiting Germany, be sure to visit the the Eagle’s Nest. Originally called The Kehlsteinhaus, the Eagle’s Nest is a chalet style building that is perched precariously above a steep cliff at a height of 6017 feet.
The building is located atop the Kehlstein building in the Bavarian Alps and can be reached from Obersalzberg, a small village community located beneath the mountain.
Reaching the Eagle’s Nest is not an issue. There are plenty of buses and private cabs that transport guests from Berchtesgaden to Obersalzberg. From here, the Eagle’s Nest Bus takes guests up the mountain.
The bus stops at a marble lined tunnel which is 400 feet long and needs to be traversed on foot. The final end of the journey is made on a brass elevator that climbs 400 feet from the heart of the mountain to reach the Nest at the top.
The Eagle’s Nest was originally a birthday present from Reichsleiter Martin Bormann to Adolf Hitler who used the establishment as a tea house. After the Nazi rule ended, it was used as a military command post for a brief period until 1960 when it came back into the hands of the State of Bavaria.
Today, the Kehlsteinhaus is a privately owned restaurant that attracts hordes of tourists from around the world. Featuring an indoor fine dining area in addition to an outdoor garden which is used for more casual functions, the Eagle’s Nest also houses a reception room, a large fireplace and several rooms situated beneath the main restaurant.
Attention has been given to detail in the construction and decoration of the Eagle’s Nest and most of the furniture has been designed by the famed Paul Laszlo.
The fireplace at the reception is made of red Italian marble and Venetian windows are fitted throughout the establishment to give it an extravagant look. The brass elevator took almost 3 years to complete and claimed the lives of several of its’ builders before it was fully constructed.
Hiking to the Eagle’s Nest is an interesting option if you are willing to make the 2 hours journey to the top of the mountain on foot. The road that connects the restaurant to the village stretches on for nearly 4 miles and reaches heights of 3000 feet and above at many places.
Crossing the Kehlstein Mountain twice, the road leadnig to the heart of the mountain was blasted from sheer rock and passes through 5 tunnels before ending at the parking lot of the restaurant. Though the road was closed to traffic in 1952, a private bus transports guests to the parking lot.
Local tour operators and guides offer to take guests on tours around the Kehlsteinhaus. Local bus tours are available that start at the foot of the hill. In addition to being educated about the building and its significance, guests can also enjoy stunning views of the Bavarian Alps as they ride up the mountain.
Local guides also throng the lower elevator station offering to take foreigners on tours around the building. These tours include visits to the lower rooms which are otherwise closed to the public.
These rooms are fitted with plate glass windows and offer great views of the surrounding regions. One of the more interesting rooms happens to be Hitler’s study which was later transformed into a store room.
At the end of a wonderful tour of the facility, guests can unwind at the restaurant’s terrace and enjoy beers, wines and other beverages; or enjoy tasty Bavarian meals in the main dining room.