Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest Mountain top retreat to open soon

by Luz Medeiros, Special to the Herald Union
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

A visit to the Eagle’s Nest in Southern Germany offers visitors a trip back into World War II history.
The mountain-top retreat, known to Germans as the “Kehlsteinhaus,” is a lodge that sits atop the Kehlstein Mountain near the city of Berchtesgaden in the German state of Bavaria.
The house’s construction was completed in the summer of 1938, and it was presented to Adolf Hitler on his 50th birthday.
The Eagle’s Nest, located south of Munich, offers breathtaking views of the German and Austrian Alps.
The visit provides a several-hour-long history lesson. One learns that Hitler only visited the mountaintop perch a few times because he was afraid of heights.
Although the Allies destroyed most structures in Germany associated with Hitler, the Eagle’s Nest survived despite being targeted.
The windy, cliffside road is closed to all privately owned vehicles. Visitors can only visit the hilltop mansion by shuttle. To get to the top, park at the Dokumentation Obersalzeberg. From there, visitors can purchase shuttle tickets to the Eagle’s Nest.
Immediately after reaching the top and getting off the bus, visitors are asked to get their shuttle tickets stamped by the cashier and to schedule their return trip. After doing so, visitors walk through a long, dark tunnel lined with marble toward the famous brass elevator, which brings guests to the Eagle’s Nest.
Once at the top, there is a restaurant where visitors can have a drink or a meal. There is also a walking path down to where the buses depart.
A clear day allows one to more fully appreciate the scenery from such a lofty perspective.
The Eagle’s Nest is usually open from mid-May through the end of October. This year, the Eagle’s Nest is scheduled to open May 8; however, this date is not definitive. The date may be pushed back depending on snow or other weather complications. Visitors should check the weather and the Eagle’s Nest website (www.kehlsteinhaus.de) before departing to make sure it will be open.
The Eagle’s Nest is about a five and a half hour drive from the KMC.
Also while in the area, tourists might consider an excursion to Salzburg, Austria, by public transportation. It is about 45 minutes by bus.
While at the tourist center in Berchtesgaden, ask for information about the free passes for public transportation around the area and information about traveling to Salzburg.
The trip by bus costs less than €10 round-trip.