Revisiting the Eagle’s Nest
By Pooja Bhatia

The Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest) on Obersalzberg Mountain is a very famous ascent

The Kehlsteinhaus, popularly called Eagle’s Nest or the Hitler’s mountain headquarters, is located at height of 1820 m above sea level on Obersalzberg Mountain in Berchtesgaden (a municipality in the German Bavarian Alps). The exact spot offers an opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty while learning some interesting facts about the Nazi Party and its operations.

Because, Eagles Nest, was the famous mountain hideaway or retreat of Adolf Hitler and the members of the Nazi Party.

Now transformed into a tourist hotspot, the place offers a great insight of the reminiscence of how the Nazi Party members hosted here the famous political dignitaries around the mid-19th century.

Nazi and its Arrival

It was in the 1930s, during the war years, that this countryside location was home to some of the esteemed political members belonging to the Third Reich. The German governance from 1933 to 1945 by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party is defined as the Third Reich.

It is the same place where Adolf Hitler penned down his autobiography, Mein Kampf. 1923 is the year he first visited Obersalzberg. Hitler is said to have rented a farmhouse here five years later, and designed a beautiful alpine mansion when he pronounced himself the owner of the rented property. He called it Berghof. He visited it during his appointment as a German Chancellor.

Martin Bormann, a prominent Nazi official, lived in own house, close to the Hitler quarters in Obersalzberg.

Martin Bormann is an important public figure in the recall of Eagle’s Nest establishment. It is he, who is said to have gifted Hitler the property and it is Bormann who commissioned the complete design and construction of the enormous layout of what we witness today.

Bormann personally supervised the whole construction which constituted setting up administration blocks and barracks. Besides this, there was a labor area which was segmented to finish the construction at a high speed.

As a part of the work, Bormann is said to have negotiated his way in a manner not appreciated by the local residents in the area. It is evident by the fact that many property owners of the hill were forced to surrender their house, by will or by authoritative force.

The Eagle′s Nest / Kehlsteinhaus construction was complete in one year. There were 3800 men deployed to complete the task and the fact that there was not a single casualty, considering the breakneck speed they worked on, is remarkable.

The site was only partially damaged during the WW2 as it stood on the top of the cliff and thus, required a very précised bombing.

When the war finished, Kehlsteinhaus has declared the property of the German federal province Bavaria.

Layout and its Purpose

It was originally built under the National Socialists and was a gift to Adolf Hitler to regard his 50th birthday. It was then used as a representative venue for the Nazi elite interaction with top dignitaries across the world.

The construction was done very methodically to make way for security, safety and incorporate features to make Hitler like the whole place. For example, the big and spacious, the brass mirror polished lift was designed in a way so that Hitler feels comfortable inside. It was because Hitler was claustrophobic. It takes you to the 6000 feet summit in just 50 seconds.

When you arrive at the exact spot, a tunnel passage measuring 124-metre is how you enter to ascent the summit using the brass lift. The original construction has been preserved and this fact is evident as the marble walls in the tunnel are still in a good condition. The lift takes you to the interiors of the Eagles Nest plaza.

Much of the interior settings especially the complete layout design is still in the novel form. It is a leisurely walk through the past. For example, the dining room layout has been reserved and there are original windows in use, till now.

It was a famous vacation spot during the Nazi regimen. Their official hosted many famous personalities like David Lloyd George (former Prime Minister of the U.K.) in 1936 and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Benito Mussolini and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were esteemed guests at the site too.

What to Expect Now?

Today, Eagle′s Nest serves its visitors in a restaurant and a fresh outlook of what really transpired between the Nazi officials and the renowned political dignitaries. The historical trivia can be learnt by appointing a guide. Besides, there is a museum like set up where you can read through the brief history.

At the pinnacle, a lovely view of Alps greets you. Bavarian Alps stretching from a northeastern segment of the central Alps along the German-Austrian border can be seen from the ascent.

There is also a mountain-top restaurant, with a kitchen inside the building, which serves you great food and beer so that you can sit, relax, and unwind with a glass of beer to enjoy the panorama views. The place also gives you an opportunity to indulge in soft nature trekking.

The road journey to the Eagle’s Nest starting from Obersalzberg to the Kehlstein car park is full of small thrills and excitement. The road rises to 800 m in altitude and only a special bus for the tourists can use the road. It was closed to normal road traffic in 1952. At the start of this road journey, the mountainside hamlet of Obersalzberg is visible. The bus runs through the snake-shape road passing through Hoher Göll mountain. You need to plan a day trip from Munich or Salzburg to be able to enjoy the destination in its entirety.

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