Eagle’s Nest – Berchtesgaden, Germany

Kehlsteinhaus, or “Eagle’s Nest,” was built as a retreat for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday present.  Constructed on Mount Kehlstein in Berchtesgaden, Germany, the chalet-style house served as an extension of the larger Obersalzberg complex, which also contained houses for Hitler’s top henchmen, SS offices, Hitler’s tea house, and several strategic bunkers.  Although almost all of the Obersalzberg complex was destroyed, the Eagle’s Nest survived.  Today, the Eagle’s Nest continues as a restaurant built around the original red marble fireplace that Mussolini gifted Hitler.

We had tried to make it to Hitler’s retreat on two different occasions in the last two years, but we were always out of season.  Eagle’s Nest is only open from May – October due to the adverse weather in the winter.   During the Olmsted ski week in February, we actually made it all the way to Konigssee Lake, which is located at the base of Eagle’s Nest, but due to the snowfall and icy conditions, we were unable to head up the mountain.  Needless to say, we were happy to finally make it here.

To reach Hitler’s retreat, you must drive to the parking area near the Obersalzberg Center of Documentation (museum) and then buy a ticket for the bus that will take you on a very steep one-way road to the area directly below Eagle’s Nest.  In German fashion, the buses going up and down the mountain are synchronized so they can pass each other in the only two-lane area.  The last part of the journey involves walking through a tunnel that leads to Hitler’s original brass elevator.  The elevator rises 124 meters and lets you off inside Eagle’s Nest (the restaurant).

Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest

The original tunnel leading to the elevator (it is freezing in there!)

Hitler’s elevator is made of polished brass, Venetian mirrors, and green leather.

Inside the brass elevator; 0 – 124 meters

Construction of the Eagle’s Nest took 13 months and it was completed in summer of 1938, prior to its formal presentation to Hitler on his birthday on April 20, 1939.  Although the Eagle’s Nest has a lot of fame today, it is believed Hitler only visited the retreat ten times because he suffered from fear of heights.

View from the top

We look like we’re in front of a painting!

Headed to the highest point on the mountain

Eagle’s Nest perched on the mountain

Eagle’s Nest sign over entrance

Mussolini’s Fireplace

Way above Konigssee Lake


  1. […] spectacular areas we’ve been to?  (You can also take a look our previous trips to this area here and here.)  There are lush green valleys (when it’s not snowing), towering mountains, and […]