Berchtesgaden National Park
Berchtesgaden National Park is located in the southeast of Germany, in Bavaria and adjoining the Austrian Salzburg region. Founded in 1978, the park includes an area of 210 square kilometres and is owned by the federal state of Bavaria. In addition, the park is the core and buffer zone of the biosphere reserve Berchtesgadener Land.
The principle aim of the National Park, covering an area of 210 km², is to allow nature to follow its own course. For this reason all human intervention is avoided in the core zone in order to allow an unhindered development of nature.
The area is covered by a network of some 260 km of walking paths and steep mountain trails. From walks accessible to the physically impaired to the challenges of a via ferrata, there is something here for everyone. In summer numerous huts in the high mountain pastures, offer refreshments and provide overnighting for those who wish to spend several days exploring the National Park.
In the park located the mountain lake Funtensee, where was registered the lowest temperature in Germany in the winter and the lake Königssee with the highest peak of Bavarian Watzmann (2713 m above sea level).
The highest elevation within the national park is the Watzmann, the central mountain range of the Berchtesgaden Alps. Particularly noteworthy is the Wimbachgries, a valley that, according to geological theory, was created by the collapse of a vault over the Watzmann and the Hochkalter. It is filled with rubble deposits up to 300 meters thick that extend over a length of ten kilometers.
The Funtensee, a mountain lake at which the lowest temperatures in Germany are regularly measured in winter, is also located in the area of the Berchtesgaden National Park.
The larger mammals are represented in the national park by roe deer, red deer, chamois and alpine ibex, the latter not being reintroduced until the 1930s. The smaller species include alpine marmots, mountain hares and snow mice. Among the 100 species of birds that breed in the park there are, among others, the golden eagle, the rough-footed owl, and the pygmy owl. The fish Koenigssee char from the Koenigssee is also very famous.