Mount Kehlstein & The Eagle's Nest

The Eagle's Nest was presented to Adolf Hitler on his 50th birthday as a retreat and place to entertain friends and visiting dignitaries.

Mount Kehlstein & The Eagle's Nest

Mount Kehlstein & The Eagle's Nest

The Eagle’s Nest was originally designed by Martin Bormann as a birthday present for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday on behalf of the NSDAP (Nazi Party). In fact, Hitler seldom visited the Eagle’s Nest.

In the end, Allied bombing at the end of World War II did not damage the Eagle’s Nest and thanks to the intervention of former Governor Jacob, the Eagle’s Nest was spared being blown up after the war. Costing RM 30 million to build (about 150 million inflation-adjusted euros in 2007), it includes five tunnels but only one hairpin turn.

Mount Kehlstein & The Eagle's Nest

From a large car park a 124 m (407 ft) entry tunnel leads to an ornate elevator which ascends the final 124 m (407 ft) to the building. Its car is surfaced with polished brass, Venetian mirrors and green leather. Construction of the entire project cost the lives of 12 workers. The building's main reception room is dominated by a fireplace of red Italian marble presented by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, which was damaged by Allied soldiers chipping off pieces to take home as souvenirs. Much of the furniture was designed by Paul László.

Today the Eagle’s Nest remains in its original state. In 1960, on the occasion of the 150th celebration Berchtesgaden’s incorporation into Bavaria, the Bavarian government relinquished its control of the building to a trust that ensures that the proceeds are used for charitable purposes.

Popular tourist attraction

Popular tourist attraction

The building serves as a restaurant offering indoor dining and an outdoor beer garden. It is a popular tourist attraction to those who are attracted by the historical significance of the "Eagle's Nest". The road has been closed to private vehicles since 1952, but the house can be reached on foot (in two hours) from Obersalzberg, or by bus from the Documentation Center there. The Kehlsteinhaus itself does not mention much about its past.

The lower rooms are not part of the restaurant but can be visited with a guide. They offer views of the building's past through plate-glass windows. Graffiti left by Allied troops is still clearly visible in the surrounding woodwork. A large fireplace in the restaurant itself shows severe damage along its lower edges where soldiers have smashed off small shards of marble as souvenirs. Hitler's small study is now a store room for the cafeteria.

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