Hitler's 50th birthday present from Martin Bormann.
After traveling to Ludwigsburg to visit some of our friends, Sylvia and I drove back toward the Czech Republic to stay with some of my relatives. On our drive back, we were finally able to stop at one of the places in Germany I have always wanted to see, Berchtesgaden with its Obersalzburg retreat area that is the location of the Kehlsteinhaus more commonly known by Americans as Hitler's "Eagles Nest."
Obersalzburg is located high up in the Bavarian Alps very near the Austrian border. We actually had to cross the Austrian border for about 5km. Since Austria requires a special permit to drive on its main highways, the Austrian police were scamming unwitting Germans in this short 5km area and checking for these permits and handing out fines! Luckily, Sylvia and I had purchased on the week before when we drove across Austria the first time.
Obersalzburg was the location of summer retreats for a number of prominent Nazis prior to and during World War II including Hermann Goring and Martin Bormann. Later, Bormann set about evicting the rest of Obersalzburg's residents in order to increase the area's security. Bormann comissioned the construction of the Kehlsteinhaus--also known as the Eagle's
On the trail below the Eagle's Nest.
Nest--as a 50th birthday present for Adolph Hitler. Despite Hitler's association with the Eagle's Nest
, it seems that many people confuse it with Hitler's Berghof
, that also once existed in the Obersalzburg area. The vast majority of the footage that shows Hitler in Obersalzburg is of him at the Berghof, not the Eagle's Nest. It has been suggested that Hitler actually only used the Kehlsteinhaus a handful of times and this helps explain why it was able to be saved after the war while the Berghof was thoroughly destroyed.
In order to reach Obersalzburg, we had to drive up a steep mountain road. At a certain point, we had to stop and purchase a bus ticket since only buses are allowed to go farther up the road. After a bus trip up an even steeper, narrower road, we reached the base below the Eagle's Nest. At this point, we walked through the large tunnel dug into the mountain and took the elevator up to to the Eagle's Nest itself. The view is certainly excellent and you are able to see the Alps in every direction, as well as the rest of Obersalzburg and Berchtesgaden. The Eagle's Nest itself is now a
From the hill above the Eagle's Nest.
working restaurant and you are not able take a tour. Tourists are also not allowed inside except to eat at the restaurant. Despite this fact, it was well worth seeing both the Eagle's Nest and the surrounding resort area.
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