Eagle‘s Nest Historical Tours

Hitler spent over one-fourth of his time in power at the Berghof

Where is the Eagle’s Nest and What Will I Find There?

The Eagle's Nest in the setting sun

The Berghof became a second seat of power during the Third Reich but is no longer standing.

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The Eagle’s Nest was built as a diplomatic teahouse for Adolf Hitler. The mountaintop structure and the road leading to it were considered to be a great engineering feat at the time.

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World history in the bavarian alps.

The so-called “Eagle’s Nest” (Kehlsteinhaus) was built as a teahouse for Adolf Hitler on Kehlstein Mountain at an elevation of 6,017 ft / 1,834 m. Its unusual position made it a unique engineering feat. What few realize is that Hitler’s home (the Berghof) and southern headquarters – his second seat of power – were located on Obersalzberg, at the foot of the Eagle’s Nest mountain.

Due to its high elevation, the Eagle’s Nest generally can’t open until mid-May. For about three weeks prior to opening the high mountain road leading up to the building (the road is perched on the cliff face) a team not only clears away snow, but checks the mountainside for loose stones and any other possible dangers. The road and building cannot be opened until the “all clear” is given. The exact opening date is not usually known until about 2 weeks prior to the expected opening and is subject to weather conditions. The Eagle’s Nest officially closes at the end of October but early snowfall sometimes forces an earlier closure.

Our highly acclaimed Three-in-One private Eagle’s Nest Tour

Learn everything about the Eagle’s Nest with its neighboring sights, and, weather permitting, enjoy stunning panoramic views

A trip to the Eagle’s Nest, located on a mountain summit at over 6,000 ft in elevation, is always a memorable experience. Special mountain buses travel 4 miles up Germany’s highest road, transporting passengers to the original brass-lined elevator that carries them another 400 ft into the Eagle’s Nest. In clear weather the views of the Bavarian and Austrian Alps are spectacular.

Our 3,5 – 4 hour (with up to 6 persons) private educational tour emphasizes the historical significance of the whole mountain, not just the Eagle’s Nest teahouse. With our guide addressing only your party, be it a couple, a family or a group of friends, we show how Obersalzberg served as the cradle of the Nazi party and became a stage on which world history was enacted. In fact many of Hitler’s ideas and decisions that led to war and the holocaust can be traced back to this very idyllic mountainside.

Join us for a history intensive three-part historical tour that includes the construction and use of the Eagle’s Nest, a driving and educational tour of the Obersalzberg area (the former Nazi southern HQs) and a visit to the historically significant site of Hitler’s former home (now a ruin). Known as the “Berghof” the sprawling structure, once famed for its extensive terrace, is located on a promontory on the flank of the Obersalzberg mountain far below the more-famed “Eagle’s Nest.” Hitler’s 30-room estate became the venue for national and international political decision-making, a place visited by foreign heads of state and frequented by Nazi leaders, as well as by members of European high-society who were hosted by the “lady of the house”, Eva Braun. Find out more about Hitler’s home under →“Our Historical Tour.”

We highly recommend visiting the excellent “→Dokumentation Obersalzberg” and the underground bunkers. For more information visit →obersalzberg.de

Mountain bus climbing to the Eagle’s Nest on Germany’s highest road

Special bus driving on Eagle's Nest road with snowy mountains in the background

One of our guides explaining historical events with the use of photos

Tour guide showing historic photos to a tour group at Eagle's Nest

The hidden ruins of the Berghof: Hitler’s former estate and second seat of power

The hidden ruins of the Berghof

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  • Albert Speer and Nuremberg Party Rally Grounds
  • Hitler’s Eagles Nest: A Statement of Monumentality

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The Rise & Fall of Nazi Germany

The Rise & Fall of Nazi Germany

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General History Tours Holocaust Tours Military History and Battlefield Tours

17th - 24th June 2024 (8 Days)

Expert Historian : Professor Alexander Korb

Tour price: £4,095

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Your Holiday Essentials

17th - 24th June 2024 (8 Days)

3-4-star hotels, meals as indicated,

drinks with dinner, all entrance fees,

tour manager and expert historian

throughout, all internal travel,

optional travel from UK

Activity Level : 2

Standard price: £3,445

Incl. travel from UK: £4,095 Room sole occupancy supplement: £550 Non-refundable deposit: £600

Booking open

Interested in this tour but not ready to book? Register your interest using the link below and we will keep you updated on the progress of the tour.

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Tour Introduction

This tour traces the dramatic and harrowing story of the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich chronologically from its birth in 1919 Munich, to its bloody end in Berlin in 1945. In the company of an expert historian, we visit all the significant milestones marking Adolf Hitler's ascent and Germany's descent into the abyss. We begin in the Bavarian capital where we see the sites associated with the Nazi party’s rise, including the route of the 1923 Beerhall Putsch, the site of the party HQ and that of the 1938 Munich conference. We tour the appalling Buchenwald concentration camp; the Fuhrer's idyllic mountain retreat at Berchtesgaden; the Nazi party’s monster rally grounds at Nuremberg; and where Nazi crimes were judged and condemned. We explore the state building that housed the weak and ineffectual government of the Weimar Republic. During our final days in Berlin, we visit Wannsee, where the Holocaust was planned, and walk through the city centre viewing the Reichstag, Holocaust memorial, and the site of the bunker where Hitler’s life ended.

Munich, 1919. An unknown Austrian corporal walks into a beerhall...and the rest is history. The remarkable rise of Adolf Hitler from obscurity to Germany’s dictatorial Fuhrer, and finally to the overlordship of occupied Europe, is the story of a catastrophe unparalleled in human history. The Nazi dream of a racially pure Third Reich, and the quest for Lebensraum in Russia, turned Germany into a totalitarian state and plunged the world into war.

  • Enjoy a drink at the historic Hofbrauhaus in Munich
  • Ascend the spectacular 6,000 ft. Kehlstein to enjoy a tour, amazing mountain views, and lunch in the Eagle's Nest
  • Visit the remains of the Berghof, Hitler's mountain home
  • Enjoy a private tour of the Nuremberg courtroom where the surviving top Nazis were tried by the International tribunal in 1946
  • Buchenwald & Wannsee
  • Tour the Topography of Terror museum
  • Walk around central Berlin, viewing the Reichstag, the Holocaust memorial, and the site of the Bunker where Hitler and his bride Eva Braun committed suicide in April 1945

What's Included

  • Return flights from London (optional)
  • 3 & 4 Star Hotels
  • Buffet breakfast each morning
  • Dinner parties hosted by your expert historian and tour manager
  • Two drinks i,e wine or beer at each dinner and a welcome drink on first evening
  • Dedicated Tour Manager
  • Entrance fees for sites included in itinerary
  • Modern, comfortable, air-conditioned coach
  • Tour information booklet
  • Helpful and friendly travel advice
  • The company of like-minded travelers

Day 1: Arrival in Munich We fly into Munich and check-in to our hotel for two nights. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks and an introductory talk from our expert historian followed by dinner. (D)

Day 2: Munich A full day on foot and public transport exploring the sites associated with Hitler’s rise to power: the former Sternecker beerhall, where Hitler first encountered the Nazi party; walk along the route of the 1923 Beerhall putsch to the Odeonsplatz, where the first Nazi bid for power came to bloody grief; enjoy a beer at the historic Hofbrauhaus; visit tour the documentation centre at the site of the party HQ, the Brown House; see where the 1938 Munich conference took place, today the city's Music college. (B,D)

Day 3: Berchtesgaden We check out of our hotel and drive through beautiful mountain scenery to Berchtesgaden, the pretty town where Hitler, Goering and Speer had their rural retreats. We ascend the spectacular 6,000 ft. Kehlstein to enjoy a tour, amazing mountain views, and lunch at the Eagle's Nest, Hitler's mountain top eyrie. Visit the remains of the Berghof, Hitler's mountain home, where he received foreign guests including Chamberlain, Lloyd George and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. We tour the nearby documentation centre recording the Nazi links with the area. Check-in to our hotel for one night. (B,D)

Day 4: Nuremberg Visit Surberg, where ‘death-marched’ Jews were massacred a week after Hitler’s suicide. At The Bavarian Army Museum in Ingolstadt we view its excellent exhibition on Hitler’s rise to power. In the afternoon we drive to Nuremberg to see the Nazi party rally grounds where thousands gathered annually to hear Hitler speak in massive, choreographed shows of strength and military muscle. We then visit the documentation centre in the vast, half built, Congress Hall which showcases megalomaniac Nazi building plans. Check-in to our hotel for one night. (B,D)

Day 5: Judgement We take a tour of the courtroom where the surviving top Nazis were tried by the international tribunal in 1946. This afternoon we explore the House of the Weimar Republic where Hitler first came to power. Check-in to our hotel for one-night. There will be some free time to explore this beautiful city. (B,D)

Day 6: Buchenwald & Wannsee Visit Buchenwald, one of Germany’s first and largest concentration camps with its huge memorial complex, crematorium, SS guards’ barracks, commandant’s headquarters, railway station, gatehouse and very moving exhibition. This afternoon we drive to Berlin's leafy western suburbs to visit Wannsee where, in a grand lakeside villa, the Holocaust was planned at a meeting chaired by Reinhard Heydrich. We tour the permanent exhibition on the history of German anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Check-in to our central Berlin hotel for two nights. (B, D)

Day 7: Berlin A full day on foot and U-Bahn visiting the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, the Fuhrer bunker where Hitler and his bride Eva Braun committed suicide in April 1945, the Holocaust memorial, and the Topography of Terror Museum: built on the site of the SS/ Gestapo HQ, this records the network of terror that the Nazis built and the fate of its victims. (B, D)

Day 8: Berlin & Home Visit the Platform 17 memorial at Grunewald, from where thousands of Berlin’s Jews were transported to their deaths. Thence brief stops at the Olympic Stadium and Tempelhof Airport to examine iconic Nazi architecture. Continue to Berlin Brandenburg Airport for return flights home. (B)

Recommended Reading List

  • A Brief History of the Birth of the Nazis: How the Freikorps Blazed a Trail for Hitler
  • Countdown to Valkyrie: The July Plot to Assassinate Hitler

Professor Alexander Korb

Professor Alexander Korb

Alexander Korb was director of the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies between 2012 and 2018. Alexander is an expert of the Holocaust in Central and Southeastern Europe. Moreover, he specializes in the history of genocide, of international relations within wartime Europe, and in a transnational intellectual history of right-wing Europe.

Photo Gallery

  • The View from The Eagle's Nest
  • Our group examines a monument at Dachau
  • At the International Monument at Dachau
  • Memorial at Dachau
  • Exploring Dachau
  • Our 2019 tour group at Dachau
  • Grave of many thousands unknown
  • At The Eagle's Nest
  • Arbeit Macht Frei

Tour Review

Take a look at some of the images taken on our most recent tour

The Rise & Fall of Nazi Germany

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Germany ‎ > Berchtesgaden > Hitlers Eagles Nest Tour

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Berchtesgaden Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest Area Tour Obersazlburg Sights

Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest Tour & Area Sites:

Location :  Obersalzberg Mountain above Berchtesgaden Cost :  21€ for Adults, 15€ for Children for Local Bus + RVO Bus Time Required :  3 hours round-trip from the Berchtesgaden Train Station to visit the Eagles Nest ( +2-3 hours for Obersalzberg sites & Museum; +1 hours with luge slide visit ) Fun Scale :  9.5 out of 10

The lore of the mountaintop Eagles Nest, Dokumentation Center Museum, Hitler’s teahouse, secret bunkers, and Nazi command centers draw in WW2 history buffs to Berchtesgaden from all over the world.  With 120-mile-views and tons of green space, most of these WW2 sites are on the hillside of Upper Salt Mountain ( Obersalzberg ) overlooking the village.  Not only did the Alpine beauty of this area inspire Hitler’s writing, but it also became the place he spent 1/3 of his time in power, more than any other location.  Even without learning about the WW2 history, the gorgeous Obersalzberg area is a must visit while you are in Berchtesgaden.

Closures In The Winter:

While the Nazi Dokumentation Center Museum & Bunkers stay open year round, the rest of the sites on Obersalzberg Mountain close November-April each year.  These high elevation closures for Winter include Hitler’s Eagles Nest, Berghof Bunkers below Zum Turks Hotel, and the Summer slide luge.

How To Get to Hitler’s Eagles Nest:

Getting To The Eagles Nest In Berchtesgarden From Salzburg Bus 838

Step 1 : Berchtesgaden Train Station > Obersalzberg Dokmentation Center ( Bus 838 )

Getting To The Eagles Nest In Berchtesgarden From Salzburg EVO Bus 849

Step 2 :  Obersalzberg Eagles Nest Ticket Booth > Eagles Nest Parking Lot ( RVO Bus 849 )

Getting To The Eagles Nest In Berchtesgarden From Salzburg Tunnel Elevator

Step 3 : Eagles Nest Parking Lot > Eagles Nest ( Tunnel & Elevator )

Bus Route Overview :  Assuming you followed our guide on how to get to Berchtesgaden Salzburg or Munich, you will be starting off at the Berchtesgaden Train Station.  To get the Eagles Nest you first take  Local Bus 838  to the Nazi Documentation Center.  An all-day ticket for all the local buses costs around 5€.  Bus 838 leaves at least once an hour and the ride to the Documentation Center will only take 12 minutes.  If you are staying overnight in Berchtesgaden, the regular local buses are free with your hotel guest card ( kurkarte ).  There are also taxis at the station to cover this leg of the journey.

Reaching the Documentation Center bus stop, you will cross the road and parking lot to get to the Eagles Nest ticket booth ( see map above ) to switch to RVO Bus 849 .  This is a special RVO Bus and requires a stand-alone Eagles Nest Bus ticket ( 16.10€ for Adults, 9.30€ for Children ) even if you have a city bus pass.  Bus 849 leaves every 25 minutes from 7:40am-4pm your steep journey up the private mountain road ( closed to cars ) will take 20 minutes.  Before riding the elevator the final way up to tour the Eagles Nest, make sure visit the information window.  You will need to choose a return time get your bus ticket stamped at the window to ensure yourself a spot back down the mountain to the Documentation Center.

By Hiking :  You can get to the Eagles Nest by Alpine hiking on one of two well-marked trails illustrated on our map above.  From the  Ofneralm Parking Lot , it is a 1.5-2 hour long strenuous hike up.  From the  Scharitzkehl Parking Lot , it is around a 3-hour hike up.  If you don’t have a car, you can take the 838 bus to the end of the line at the Christophorusschule ( Gymnasium ) Stop near the Scharitzkehl Parking Lot.  You can also catch this trail not far from the Luge mentioned below cutting your hike down from 3 to 2 hours.  Make sure not to hike on the road as there is no space for pedestrians and it is also a longer route.  If you take the 838 & 849 up the mountain and want to hike the last bit instead of the elevator, it only takes about 10-15 minutes.

Overview of Obersalzberg During WW2:

Sitting directly above Berchtesgaden, the small neighborhood of Obersalzberg provides the best Alpine views in Germany.  These fantastic views attracted a young Adolf Hitler to rent a home here fresh out of jail from 1923’s failed Beer Hall Putsch in Munich.  Hitler found inspiration in Obersalzberg, and it’s here that he finished his Nazi propaganda book, My Struggle ( Mein Kampf ).  After rising to power, Hitler started to forcibly seize most of the neighborhood’s home and turned the area into a military zone called Leader’s Restricted Area ( Führer Sperrgebiet ).  Berchtesgaden’s Obersalzberg served as the place where Hitler spent 1/3 of his time in power ( more than anywhere else ), became a Third Reich stronghold, and was the backup command center for the Nazi government.

After the British bombing of Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden was liberated on May 4th, 1945 with the US Army reaching the mountainside the following day.  Many of the Nazi buildings were looted after the bombings and on April 30th, 1952 ( the 7th anniversary of Hitler’s suicide ) the Bavarians tore down much of their remains to prevent them from becoming neo-Nazi shrines.  Sections of the Obersalzberg hillside remained under the control of the US Army until it was entirely given back to Berchtesgaden in 1995.

Visiting the remaining ruins, seeing Hitler’s Eagles Nest, touring the museum in the Dokumentation Center, and learning more about the Nazi’s evil reign of terror is a very educational experience.  Among the ruins, you can tour restored sections of the original 4 miles of underground Nazi bunkers.  Touring the sites and learning is important to remember the horrors of the past so they never happen again.

The Eagles Nest Area Attractions:

1. eagles nest mountain road ( kehlsteinstrasse ):.

Hitlers Eagles Nest Tour In Berchtesgaden WW2 World War Two Third Reich tour nazi sites Obersalzberg - Eagles Nest Road Kehlsteinstrasse

About Eagles Nest Mountain Road :  Completed in late-1938 after only 13 months of cutting through solid rock, the Eagles Nest Mountain Road is a marvel built by Nazi engineer Martin Bormann.  The 4-mile long road climbs over 700 meters ( 2,297 feet ) up at a 27% incline with 5 tunnels and only 1 switchback .  Because of the steep cliff drop-offs, there simply wasn’t room to use more switchbacks making the road that much more impressive.

The journey up the mountain road by bus is very exciting ( not scary ) and offers amazing views.  Because most of the road is only one lane, expect that your bus will stop a couple times to wait for oncoming buses to pass.  The steep one-lane mountain road is closed to the public , originally for security reasons and later for safety.  With the route closed to public traffic, the only way to reach the Hitler’s famous Eagles Next ( outside of a 2-hour strenuous hike ) is by the special RVO Bus 849 which whizzes you up the mountain.  Remember that this bus ( nicknamed the Eagles Nest Bus ) requires a standalone ticket  bought at the booth in Obersalzburg ( see map above ) even if you have a bus pass for Berchtesgaden’s local in-town routes.

2. The Eagles Nest ( Kehlsteinhaus ):

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About Hitler’s Eagles Nest :  With the best panoramic views in Germany, the Eagles Nest is by far the top attraction in Berchtesgaden.   Perched almost 3,000 feet above the surrounding valley floor, on a clear day you will able to see up to an unbelievable  120 miles away !   The entire Eagles Nest project from the mountain road to the Alpine chalet at the top was meant to be a gift  for Hitler’s 50th birthday  on April 20th, 1939.

Nazi engineer Martin Bormann carefully chose the location because he knew Hitler loved the views at the Teehaus he visited daily.  It was no small feat as the tortuous road required 3000 workers to labor in dangerous conditions around the clock.   While it took 13 months to build the 4-mile-long road, the chalet on top was actually completed a year earlier in the Fall of 1938.

The interior of the chalet was lavishly decorated including a marble fireplace that was a gift from Italian dictator Mussolini.  There was also a decadent carpet which was a gift from Jananese Emperor Hirohito.  As amazing as the chalet was, however, Hitler  only made 14 official visits  up to the Eagles Nest and most were in the first year.  That’s pretty odd seeing how he spent almost 1/3 of his time in power at his Berghof in the nearby Obersalzberg Complex.  His first visit was on September 16th, 1938 last and the last was October 17th, 1940 even though he stayed in Obersalzburg through much of 1944.  The most common reasons we have heard to why this was is because Hitler didn’t like the change of air pressure from the high elevation at the Eagles Nest and that he was afraid of being hit by lightning in the elevator.  Although Hitler himself didn’t tour the site often, his mistress Eva Braun frequented the Eagles Nest.  Eva’s sister Gretl even had her wedding reception at the chalet in 1944.

Thanks to the cover of a light dusting of snow the day before, the Eagles Nest was spared from British bombings on April 25th, 1945, but it didn’t escape unharmed.  When American and French troops arrived many soldiers chipped souvenir pieces off the building’s stone facade and took almost everything inside.  Unlike most of the Obersalzberg Complex, this Nazi building wasn’t demolished and instead was  turned into a restaurant  in 1952. The Eagle’s Nest Restaurant has good food, an unbeatable patio, but can get a little crowded in the afternoons, especially if it is a clear day.

At the entrance of the Eagles Nest, you get to use the same long tunnel that Hitler used to access the high-speed elevator.  After a slick 407-foot journey straight up the shiny brass embellished elevator , you arrive at the chalet.  Some visitors like the long hike from the Eagles Nest entrance to the top, but we suggest taking the elevator.   Once at the hop though make sure to take the gradual hike up 300 feet above the chalet to the summit of the peak marked by the  Mountain Cross .  It is here at the Mountain Cross where you will be able to take the iconic photos back toward the Eagles Nest with the valley below.  You will also be able to see cement platforms from two of the four 3.7cm guns that protected the chalet from air attacks.  There were at least 14 batteries built around Berchtesgaden with heavy flak guns between 1943 and 1945.

Seasonality :  Due to its high elevation the Eagle’s Nest is open in summer only, usually from about mid-May through October.   Getting To The Eagle’s Nest By Bus :  The easiest way to get here is to take the RVO Bus from the Documentation Center’s Hintereck Parking lot which leaves every 25 minutes from 7:40am-4pm and costs 16.10€ for Adults, 9.30€ for Children.   Getting To The Eagle’s Nest By Hiking :  You can get to the Eagles Nest by Alpine hiking on one of two well-marked trails illustrated on our map above.  From the Ofneralm Parking Lot, it is a 1.5-2 hour long strenuous hike up.  From the Scharitzkehl Parking Lot in about 3-hour hike. If you don’t have a car take the 383 bus to the end of the line at the Christophorusschule ( Gymnasium ) Stop near the Scharitzkehl Parking Lot.  You can also catch this trail near the Luge mentioned below cutting your hike down to 2 hours.    Cost :  Hitler’s Eagles Nest is now a restaurant and there is no cost for visiting. The high-speed elevator is free.   Website:   Here .

3. Platterhof Hotel & Cottage of Struggle :

Hitlers Eagles Nest Tour In Berchtesgaden WW2 World War Two Third Reich tour nazi sites Platterhof Hotel Geneal Walker

About The  Platterhof Hotel :  As you step off of Bus 838, the first building you reach after crossing the street from the stop is the former Platterhof  Hotel.  Originally built as the Steinhausen, Mauritia “Moritz” Mayer bought the property in 1877 and opened it as the Pension Moritz.  The hotel quickly began to host celebrity guests, and Moritz became a pioneer of modern tourism in Germany and Central Europe.  The hotel’s nickname Platterhof came because Moritz had inspired the character of author Judith Platter in Richard Voss’ famous novel Zwei Menschen ( Two People ) from 1911 which later became a movie.

Hitler first starting coming to Berchtesgaden in 1923 when he would meet his friend and mentor Dietrich Eckart at Platterhof under the name Herr Wolf .  He quickly fell in love with the Obersalzberg area calling Berchtesgaden his New Chosen Homeland ( Wahlheimat ) .  After getting out of the cushy Landsberg Prison in December 1924 from his failed Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, Hitler soon came back to Berchtesgaden renting a rustic cabin in the woods across the road from the Platterhof. Known as the Cottage of Struggle ( Kampfhäusl ), the cabin was where Hitler finished writing Mein Kampf ( My Struggle ).

Much of Hitler’s political manifesto had written in prison, but was in his Cottage of Struggle that the two sections of his rambling propaganda book were finetuned to express is radical ideology and future plans for Germany.  The push to finish Mein Kampf came after Hitler was banned from public speaking in Bavaria for two years because of violent language in a speech 0n February 27th 1925 in Munich’s Bürgerbräukeller ( site of the failed Putsch ) meant to reboot the Nazi Party.  During this time, Hitler knew that the written word was the best way to get out his radical messaging.  While the wooden cabin is long gone, the stone foundations Moll bunker ruins can easily be visited with a very short walk behind the power station hut along the road.

During the Nazi occupation of Obersalzberg ( 1933-45 ), the Platterhof Hotel was expanded by the government and remolded into deluxe accommodations for high ranking Nazis and dignified guests.  Unlike many other buildings on the mountain, the hotel wasn’t torn down by the city in 1952 and instead became the Hotel General Walker after renovations by the US Army.  This change included turning the former Terrace Hall into the Skyline Restaurant.

The property was given back to the city of Berchtesgaden in 1995 but torn down most of the hotel in 2000 including its courtyards.  The only remaining part of the Platterhof is the former Terrace Hall ( later Skyline Restaurant ) which has now been turned into the Berggasthof Restaurant ( website ).  The rest hotel had been quite large, was connected to underground bunkers, and used to take up most of the restaurant’s parking lot.

4. Dokumentation Center & Bunkers :

Hitlers Eagles Nest Tour In Berchtesgaden WW2 World War Two Third Reich tour nazi sites Obersalzberg Dokumentation Center

About The  Dokumentation Center :  Sitting on the site of today’s Dokumentation Center Museum was once the Alpine hotel called  Gästehaus Hoher Göll .  After becoming German Chancellor in 1933, Hitler ( who lived next door ) started seizing neighborhood homes and hotels to create a vast 80 building compound here known as the Obersalzberg Complex .  The Gästehaus Hoher Göll was incorporated into the Obersalzburg Complex in 1934 and renovated into offices for the staff of Hitler’s right-hand man Martin Bormann.

The Obersalzburg Complex was declared a military-only area in 1936 and became the official second seat of the 3rd Reich government known as the Führer’s Security Zone.  Secret Nazi plans were hatched out at the complex and Hitler spent around 1/3 of this time in power at the compound, more than any other location.

When the Nazi’s lost the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943, they built a  4-mile-long bunker system  under the Obersalzberg Complex for added security.  The bunkers held meeting room, lavish apartments, and served as air raid shelters, underground shooting ranges, archive storage, and food reserves.  Both the Gästehaus and Platterhof Hotels shared a joint section of the Obersalzberg bunkers, and they were connected to the Hitler’s private Berhof bunkers by an elevator shaft another 30 meters ( 100 feet ) deeper.  There was even an additional 1-mile-long uncompleted bunker called Obertal another 100 meters (338 feet) below the Berghof bunkers.  The Obertal bunker would have been like an underground highway connecting to the Gusthof farm in Obersalzberg for access to Berchtesgaden in one direction and Salzburg the in other direction.

On April 25th, 1945 much of the Obersalzberg Complex was bombed by the British Airforce but the bunker system was unhurt .  Over 3000 people sheltered in the bunkers and only 12 people were killed in the bombing.  Berchtesgaden surrendered on May 4th and by the time US troops arrived on Obersalzburg the next day looting had already begun on the Nazi buildings.  Wine, cigars, and furniture were plundered from the basements and bunkers, but no shots were fired.

The US Army kept the hillside on lockdown through 1949 and still occupied much many building on Obersalzberg until 1995. In 1999, the local government  built a museum on the ruins of the former Gästehaus Hotel so the citizens could learn from the past and never repeat it.  This preservation was a welcomed move by historians as when the city had been given control of six other former Nazi buildings in 1952 they demolished them out of fear they may be glorified.

The original foundation of the former Gästehaus Hotel and large sections of the Nazi’s underground bunker system were tastefully incorporated into today’s Dokumentation Center Museum.  From the outside, you can see the three tan stone archways on the end of the museum which were part of the original building.  Going on a self-guided  tour of the underground bunkers truly feels like you are stepping into the past, or at least an old James Bond film.  We find the informational exhibits at the museum to be fascinating and very educational.  The Dokumentation Center Museum was built to accommodate 30,000-40,000 annual guests but had to be significantly expanded in 2016 since they get four times the amount of visitors they initially expected.

Cost :  3€ for Adults, Children Free.   Hours :  April-October Daily 9am-5pm; November-March Tuesday-Sunday 10am-3pm, Closed Mondays in Winter.   Audio Tours :  English audio guide tour available for rent 2€.   Guided Tours :  Available in English Mid May-October, you may book ahead of time  HERE .   Website :   Here .

5. Hitler’s Berghof Ruins :

Hitlers Eagles Nest Tour In Berchtesgaden WW2 World War Two Third Reich tour nazi sites Obersalzberg Berghof

About Hitler’s Berghof : Just a short wooded stroll up from the Nazi Documentation Center Museum brings you to the ruins of the Berghof mansion where Hitler spent 1/3 of his time in power, more than any other location.  From his first visit in 1923, the beauty of Obersalzburg above Berchtesgaden had attracted Hitler who was also an inspiring artist most of his life.  By 1928 Hitler started renting a small 5-room rustic vacation cottage on this site  called Haus Wachenfeld ( built 1916 ).  He fell in love with the views of Untersberg Mountain which mythology says Charlemagne lays resting in an ice cave ready for the re-birth of the Holy Roman Empire ( abolished 1806 ).  After becoming German Chancellor in 1933, Hitler bought the Haus Wachenfeld to become his primary home and began expanding it into his Mountain Court ( Berghof ) .

The Berghof grew from the small Haus Wachenfeld into a 30-room mansion, with outdoor stone terraces, a lavish great hall ( 60×50 feet ), bowling alley, expensive tapestries, 24-person dining room, and a huge 90-pane retractable window wall.  The expansion of the property into the Berghof compound was the start of a new Nazi military complex fanning out along Upper Salt Mountain ( Obersalzberg ).  By 1936 the Obersalzburg Complex became a secure military zone and complete with an extensive network of underground bunkers .  By 1943 there were 4 miles of shelters with Hitler’s private bunker section below Berghof ranging from 100-200 feet deep, with 44,000 square feet of living space, a dog kennel, a kitchen, archives, and many military operation elements.

Joining Hitler at Berghof were his  mistress/wife Eva Braun  and their dogs including a German Shepard named Blondi.  Hitler had met Eva in Munich in 1929 ( she was 17, he 40 ) where she was a model and assistant to his photographer.  For much of WW2 Eva stayed at the Berghof and was relatively sheltered from the more delicate details of the war.  With Hitler often away from home she twice attempted suicide with his gun in what were believed to be pleas for attention.  Some of the frustration was because Hitler refused to marry her believing it would reduce his attractiveness to women in his ongoing pursuit to control people with his image.

From the time Hitler became the German Reich Chancellor in 1933, hoards of his “fans” including thousands of children would flock to the Berghof .  As many as 5,000 people a day would come to the entrance of the property in the Summer to try to get greeted by the Führer.  Hitler’s celebrity was growing, and he would even sign autographs here as he routinely welcomed his visitors midday.  As the Nazis bought the hillside ( was more of a seizure ), Obersalzberg became a restricted area for security.  There was also a significant SS guardhouse gate on the road below the Berghof which served as the primary entrance into the estate.

There were many famous guests at Berghof including British Prime Ministers David Lloyd George in 1936 and Neville Chamberlain who came to negotiate a peace treaty in 1938.  These meetings led to the Munich Agreement which then handed vast parts of Czechoslovakia over to Germany in exchange for a peace that never happened.  Other guests included Duke Edward and Duchess of Windsor, Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, King Carol II of Romania, and many Many Ambassadors.  That meeting in 1937 with Duke Edward of Windsor was one of the most famous as he had abdicated the throne as King Edward VIII of England the previous year after only 10 months because he wanted to marry a divorced woman.  Although he wasn’t pro-Nazi, Edward supported Hitler and even did the Nazi salute during his visit in hopes of being put back on the throne if the United Kingdom was conquered.

Hitler left Berghof on June 15th, 1944 for the Eastern Front in Poland and then spent the last few months of the war in Berlin.  On April 15th, 1945 Eva Braun also left Berghof to join Hitler ( 5 days before his birthday ) in his Berlin Bunker even though the Soviets troops were getting near the capital.  Just 10 days later Berghof and much of the rest of Obersalzberg was severely damaged by British bombers.  Somehow only 12 people were killed as over 3,000 including one of Hitler’s top generals hide in the underground bunkers.  On the 29th of April, 1945 Eva and Hitler were finally married inside the Führerbunker in Berlin, and just 40 hours later the couple committed suicide ( she was 33, he 56 ) with the Soviet Red Army closing in on them.

With Berchtesgaden surrendering on May 4th, 1945 the Berghof was looted and set on fire by retreating Nazi troops as they left Obersalzburg.  The next day US troops planted their flag on the hillside and finished the rest of Hitler’s remaining wine.  It’s said that the fire did more damage to the Berghof than the bombs did leaving the compound as a burnt out shell.  To deter sight-seers and neo-Nazis, the Bavarian government demolished the remaining shell of the Berghof complex on April 30th, 1952 ( the 7th anniversary of Hitler’s suicide ).

Even after the US Army gave Obersalzberg back to Berchtesgaden in 1995, you could still go into some of the tunnels directly below Berghof until they were cemented shut in 2013.  The only public sections left of his private bunkers that can be visited are at the Zum Turks Hotel which is next on this Third Reich locations tour.

6. Hotel to the Turks ( Zum Türken ):

Hitlers Eagles Nest Tour In Berchtesgaden WW2 World War Two Third Reich tour nazi sites Obersalzberg - Hotel Zum Turken Underground Bunkers Tour

About Hotel Zum Türken :  There has been a cozy Alpine lodge at this pristine location since the Little Turk House ( Türkenhäusl ) was built here in 1630 .  The nickname came from the original owner who was a veteran of the Turkish sieges on Vienna ( 1529-1683 ).  He really did pick the perfect spot as this wonderful building has unmatched views of the surrounding mountains.

In 1903, Karl Schuster bought the Little Turk House and within eight years remodeled it into the guesthouse Zum Türken complete with its own butcher shop.  Previous to this, Schuster was also the innkeeper at the Purtschellerhaus am Hohen Göll which still sits nearby on the German/Austrian border.  The Zum was a huge success attracting famous guests like German composer Johannes Brahms, the Crown Prince Wilhelm & Princess Cacilie of Prussia, and Prince-Regent Luitpold of Bavaria.

As Hitler moved in next door in 1928 and started buying up all of the buildings on the Obersalzberg mountainside near Berghof, Schuster refused to sell Hotel Zum Tuerken.  Karl Schuster was outspoken against the Nazis and wasn’t happy that the presence of SS Troop at his neighbor’s house was hurting his hotel business.  To force him to sell, Hitler sent Schuster to serve  3 weeks as a prisoner at the Dachau Concentration Camp  and the property was forcibly seized by the Nazis.   During the World War Two, a Nazi SS Guard post ( still there ) and gate were set up on the edge of the parking lot and the Zum Tuerken was used to house troops.

The property was heavily bombed in WW2 after which the Schuster/Scharfenberg family had to fight to re-buy their damaged home so it wouldn’t be torn down by the government.  Crazy to think they had to fight to re-buy their own home which had been taken from them just a decade earlier.  After finally getting their home back, the family repaired it and are on their 4th generation running the hotel.  While the hotel has no wifi, it has cozy rooms, great hospitality, has a wonderful terrace for taking in the Alpine air, and is in a great location to go hiking.

Below the hotel is a large section of intact  underground bunkers  built in 1943 as air raid shelters and are open for the public to tour.  This section of bunkers was once connected to Hitler’s Berghof next door, his underground apartments, and served as a secret escape exit.  On a tour of the underground bunkers , you can see the bricked up entrance that once led to Hitler’s Berghof, can peek into some defensive gun windows, and see three underground jail cells.  In total there were 6 separate bunker systems ( bunkeranlagen ) with over 4 miles of tunnels in Obersalzberg all of which were 100-300 feet below ground.  The multi-level network of tunnels provided air raid protection for thousands of people if necessary.  These deep bunker systems protected 3,000 people in Obersalzberg during British bombings with only 12 people dying.

Keep in mind that if you visit the bunkers that this is a real mom and pop hotel business run by a hard-working family.  You need to be respectful and remember that their home was forcibly seized during the war, it was bombed, and they had work very hard for generations to get their amazing hotel back to where it was before the occupation.  Please don’t park in their parking lot or try to enter the hotel lobby as both are reserved for guests only.  For the privacy of the family and hotel guests, don’t gawk or take selfies at the property.

Bunker Tours :  Mid-April through October they are Wednesday-Monday 10am-3pm, Closed Tuesdays;   Christmas through mid-January they open daily 11am-3pm; Closed the rest of the year.  Bunker Tour Entrance : Note that the hotel lobby is locked and for guests only.  There is a special entrance on the side for the bunker tours with a large sign that says Bunkers Entrance ( Eingang Bunkeranlagen ).   Hotel Seasonality : Open May-October; Closed November-April.  Minimum 2-night stay.   Website :   Here .

7. Hitler’s Tea House ( Teehaus ):

Hitlers Eagles Nest Tour In Berchtesgaden WW2 World War Two Third Reich tour nazi sites Obersalzberg - Tea House

About Hitler’s Tea House :  Located on Mooslahnerkopf Hill near the Berchtesgaden Golf Course was once Hitler’s famous Teehaus built in 1937.  On a daily basis around 10am, Hitler would take a 10-15 minute afternoon stroll from his Berghof to the Tea House with his dog to relax and nap.  Often people incorrectly call the Eagles Nest chalet ( which he rarely visited ) Hitler’s Tea House when it was really a much smaller building located here.

In 1944, the Tea House was chosen by the British military for an assassination attempt on Hitler called Operation Foxley.  They had considered bombing his train and poisoning his tea but settled on using a sniper during Hitler’s morning walk to the Tea House.  The route of the stroll and insight that Hitler preferred not to be closely followed by his guards was revealed by a former person guard captured in the invasion of Normandy.  Although approved, ultimately the British canceled the sniper plan believing the war would soon be over and they didn’t want to make Hitler a Nazi martyr.  The last time Hitler would make his morning walk was on 14 July 1944 before heading to the Eastern Front.  There had been dozens of close assassination attempts on Hitler going back to 1921 by both internal and external forces.  The most famous was called Operation Valkyrie on July 20th, 1944 at the Wolf’s Lair ( Wolfsschanze ) on the Eastern Front in Poland where a briefcase bomb was set off in a high-level meeting.

The Tea House building was spared by British bombing in 1945 but was destroyed in 1952 along with other Nazi buildings in Obersalzberg for their association with Hitler.  The shell and rubble of the building weren’t cleared out until 2006, but the terrace and park bench 100 feet in front former Teehaus still offers excellent views.  In Hitler’s day, what is now the golf course’s 13th hole below the Teehaus was once a meadow for the Nazi Estate Farm ( Gutshof ).  Make sure to walk along the path curving around the golf course and do not walk directly across the fairways as it is private property and an active golf course.

8. Third Reich Officer Hill :

Hitlers Eagles Nest Tour In Berchtesgaden WW2 World War Two Third Reich tour nazi sites Obersalzberg - Hermann Goering House Haus Goring

About Officer Hill :  The hilltop overlooking Hitler’s Berghof was mostly undeveloped on the surface, but was an essential part of the Nazi’s Obersalzberg zone.  In addition to having the area’s  most extensive network of underground bunkers , the hill was also home to two of Hitler’s Third Reich cabinet ministers who were among the most powerful people in the Nazi Party.  Across the street from the Turk’s Hotel was the home of Nazi engineer Martin Bormann and further up the hill was a chalet for Reich Marshal Hermann Göring.

Martin Bormann quickly moved up the ranks of the Nazi military to serve as both Hitler’s personal secretary and a Third Reich cabinet minister.  He was in the inner circle very early as Hitler’s right-hand man  with Adolf even serving as a witness in Bormann’s 1929 wedding.  After overseeing the expansion of Hitler’s Berghof, Bormann became responsible for the rest of the development in Obersalzberg and became the Nazi’s moneyman.  In Obersalzberg Bormann built the SS Barracks, Eagles Nest Mountain Road, Estate Farm ( Gutshof ), bunkers, and the Greenhouse ( Gewächshaus ) which was important as Hitler was a vegetarian.

Being in charge of the Nazi’s money, Bormann helped make Hitler a millionaire through book sales and image royalties from stamps.  In exchange for his service, was given the home of local Doctor Seitz on the hill across the road from Turk’s Hotel with a clear sight of Berghof below.  Under the underground Bormann had a massive maze of a private bunker with an air raid shelter and underground military communications center.  He gained so much power that while Hitler focused on the Eastern Front, Bormann became in charge of all domestic policy .

In the closing days of the war, Bormann was a witness for the marriage of Eva Bran and Adolf Hitler in Berlin’s Führerbunker just 40 hours before the newlyweds killed themselves.  During this time in Berlin Bormann’s wife and 9 children remained in Obersalzburg.  Bormann was willed Hitler’s estate, was named the minister of the Nazi Party, and famously went missing inspiring a multi-decade manhunt.

Unlike his close associates Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels ( Minister of Propaganda ), and Heinrich Himmler ( architect of the Holocaust ) chose to kill themselves at the end of the war, Bormann attempted to escape under cover of nightfall in civilian clothes right before Berlin fell.  Although he wasn’t there in person, Bormann was sentenced to death with his high ranking colleagues in late-1945 at the Nuremberg Trials.  Finally, in 1972 two skeletons were found during construction near the Weidendammer Bridge at Lehrter Station ( 1871-1951, now Hauptbahnho f) in Berlin.  The bones matched with both medical records, medical records, and in 1998 DNA confirmed it was indeed Bormann died of self-induced cyanide during his escape attempt.

Unlike most of the buildings which were seized by the Nazis, Hermann Göring’s home ( Göringhügl ) was built brand new as a gift from the Third Reich in 1933.  Göring was a decorated WW1 veteran, served under the famous Red Barron, was shot in the groin during Munich’s failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923,  founded the Gestapo secret police in 1933, and in 1940 ordered the bombing of British civilians in what became known as The Blitz.  The Blitz was also the campaign that forced France to surrender to Germany.  Göring dispised Bormann as he had always seen himself as Hitler’s successor, but had to go along with it.

One passion that had Göring and Bormann agreed upon was getting rid of the Jewish people from the territories they were conquered in the war.  They served as go-betweens so Hitler could keep his hands clean of the mass murder and concentration camps which were in full swing by 1942.  The men were at the heart of the Nazi terror machine and Göring benefited by collecting treasure troves of artwork.  In the closing days of the war, Göring tried to hide much of his pirated art collection in a bunker tunnel behind the Berchtesgaden train station.  Göring and his family were at Obersalzburg when it was bombed on April 25th, 1945 and survived in his bunker.  He was the highest-ranking defendant during the Nuremberg Trials of late-1945 and was sentenced to hang, but killed himself with cyanide before his pending execution.

Sitting in between Göring’s house and the Greenhouse was Göring’s Hill ( Göringhügl ).  This hill was the tallest point in Obersalzberg and below the ground were the extensive private bunkers for Bormann and Goring along with a military communications center.  This was the spot that the US Army 3rd Infantry Division raised their flag on May 5th, 1945 similarly to how troop had raised the flag in Iwo Jima that February.

When the fancy Intercontinental Hotel ( now Kempinski Hotel ) was built over the bunkers in 2002 there was pushback on the hotel’s location and bulldozing of the top of the hill were in bad taste.  Because of this, the hotel was nicknamed the Hitler Hilton .  In 2008 on the 63rd anniversary of the planting of the US flag here a ceremony took place with 3 vets who were there to replant a flag and add a plaque honoring along with the mayor of Berchtesgaden.

9. Summer Luge Slide ( Sommerrodelbahn ):

Berchtesgaden-obersalzburg Summer Luge Slide hochlenzer Sommerrdelbahn

About The Sommerrdelbann Luge :  Family fun awaits at Sommerrodelbahn’s 2,000-foot-long metal Luge which speeds down the mountain.  After whizzing down the hill the track automatically shuttles you back up to the top for more fun. It is probably impossible to only to one trip on the Luge as it is so fun you’ll want to do it at least 2 or 3 times.  The Maltan Family that runs the Luge also runs a beautiful hotel and beer garden nearby if you are looking for Berchtesgaden accommodations.  In addition to a great location, the rooms are some of best priced in town.

Getting To The Luge By Bus :  The easiest way to get here since you are already up the hill is to take Bus 838 directly to the Sonneck stop which is right outside the Luge.   Getting To The Luge By Alpine Lift :  There is also a convenient Alpine lift that goes right from Berchtesgaden up to the Luge.  The lift is probably the easiest way to get back down to Old Town from the slide.   Slide Hours :  April through early-November 10am-6pm; Closed when wet; also closed in Winter.   Ride Cost :  1 ride is 2.50€ for Adults or 2€ for kids.  Discounts for multiple rides with 18€ for Adult rides 10 as an example.   Combo Ticket :  You can buy 3 rides plus round trip on the cable car up the mountain for 13€.   Website :   Here .

10. Former SS Guardhouse :

About The SS Guardhouse :  Riding the cable down the from the Summer slide luge you’ll cross the river and be dropped off right next to one of Berchtesgaden’s form SS Guardhouses.  The small hut was built in 1937 at the intersection of the riverfront road between Salzburg and the Berchtesgaden train station with the drive up to Obersalzberg.  The build date can be seen on the front of the guardhouse which also once had a carving of the Third Reich’s eagle symbol.  This hut was the first of three guardhouses on the route of the Hitler’s Berghof and is the last one still standing.

11. Berchtesgaden Train Station ( Bahnhof ):

About The Train Station :  Much of Hitler’s success as a leader was based on portraying a particular type of grandiose image, which can also be seen at Berchtesgaden’s train station.  Berchtesgaden’s small train station was greatly expanded in 1937.  For comparison sake, the new station was even bigger than the train station in Athens Greece at the time.

The Western wing was an expanded post office called the Berchtesgaden Postamt.  You can still see a huge mosaic on the corner of the exterior of a victorious man holding a wreath flag and shield with the crest of Berchtesgaden.  During the occupation, the inside of the wreath had the Nazi blood flag and swastika which was quickly changed in mid-1945.  Today the former post office is home to a Burger King and a popular Burger King-run hostel which we have stayed at.

The sizeable Eastern wing of the train station was built as a Nazi reception hall to impress important guests arriving in town.  The reception hall was filled with beautiful furniture and art taken from galleries in Vienna.  It’s said that Hitler and his driver would pick special guests up here in his convertible car.  Today the interior of the train station has Berchtesgaden-themed murals from the 1950s that have replaced similar ones from the Nazi era.

On the Eastern end of the station, the tracks start to lead north and hit a large tunnel constructed in 1940.  This line was going to connect Berchtesgaden directly to Salzburg, but the line was never completed.  The side of the tunnel’s entrance bears its date and it once also had Nazi symbols.

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An Escape to the Eagle’s Nest: Hitler’s Secluded Mountain Retreat

Last Updated: November 18, 2023

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germany hitler tour

For many World War II buffs, a visit to the Eagle’s Nest in Germany (or  Kehlsteinahus in German) is not  just  a check off the bucket list, it’s the dream trip of a lifetime.

Perched up in the clouds on the Kehlstein peak of Berchtesgaden National Park, this mysterious house, once a private meeting place for members of the Nazi Party, is one of the few remaining monuments that stand undestroyed as a legacy of Hitler’s reign.

It’s known by Americans as the Eagle’s Nest. Otherwise, it’s known best as the  Kehlsteinhaus or, as written in some imaginative guidebooks, “Hitler’s teahouse”.

Today, the Eagle’s Nest is a top attraction for those visiting Berchtesgaden National Park… and of course, I had to see it for myself.

germany hitler tour

Save this guide to visiting Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden for later!

You’ll be very glad you did.

It’s a little odd to think this once peaceful retreat for Hitler is now the trampling grounds for thousands of tourists daily, all slurping beer and wolfing down hearty Bavarian calories on the same scenic terraces where he’d planned some of the worst ever crimes against humanity.

Nonetheless, it’s a fascinating visit in a stunning natural setting, and I highly recommend it as a must-do in Berchtesgaden!

So, are you planning your own visit to the famous Eagle’s Nest? This guide will go into detail about everything you need to know about visiting Eagle’s Nest without a tour, how to get Eagle’s Nest “tickets”, along with a full story on how my visit went, and the lessons I learned along the way.

Eagle’s Nest Hotel Options

First – if you’re planning to stay overnight in Berchtesgaden, I’d advise you book your accommodations a soon as possible.

This is a very popular area for both domestic and international tourists, and there aren’t that many hotels so prices get really crazy in peak season. I’ve previously stayed in this Berchtesgaden hotel and loved it, but it’s not that close to the Eagle’s Nest.

Here are three hotels VERY close to the departure point for all the buses up to the Eagle’s Nest.

Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden ***** – A 5 star hotel a 5 minute walk from the Eagle’s Nest bus stop. Chalet chic furnishings, indoor/outdoor pools and professional staff/service. Click here to check reviews and availability.

Hotel Bavaria – A charming, affordable, and centrally located hotel within walking distance to the main Berchtesgaden town/train station. Most importantly, it’s less than 5 min on foot to a Bus 838 stop which would take you easily to the Eagle’s Nest bus stop. With a buffet breakfast, spa area and cozy homey feel, this is definitely a great base near Eagle’s Nest.  Click here to check reviews and availability.

Hotel zum Türken – A historic alpine hotel furnished in 50s/60s style with splendid views and a perfect surprise for history buffs: underground bunkers that once connected to Hitler’s Berghof residence next door. The Berghof no longer exists (it was destroyed by bombs), but staying at this hotel is as close as you can get.

View of Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden National Park

What is the Eagle’s Nest?

Known among the German-speaking world as the Kehlsteinhaus,  the Eagle’s Nest is an iconic mountaintop retreat in the Obersalzburg that was built in 1938 for Adolf Hitler.

Today it’s one of the most scenic beer gardens in Germany (yes, it’s a beer garden/restaurant now!) as well as a buzzing tourist site accessible to the public from mid-May to mid-October.

While many sources claim that the Eagle’s Nest was a 50th birthday gift to Hitler from prominent Nazi official Martin Bormann, the attraction’s  official website refutes these claims.

Rather, no grand justification was needed to build this impossible retreat besides the fact that they wanted to.

In fact, many consider the retreat to have been more a symbol of absolute power, the crown jewel of the Nazi empire, rather than a practical getaway.

After all, it’s built on one of the steepest roads in Germany, a feat which required 3800 workers working around the clock for 18 months, pressing on even during harsh winter conditions like actual avalanches and rockfalls.

Add on a lengthy mountain-carved tunnel and a shiny brass-coated elevator, and you see it was all the definition of unnecessary.

Nonetheless, the Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden has actually been open for tourism since 1952, which is when the mountaintop restaurant opened, and remains open today for all the curious visitors who want to see it for themselves… hands down, it’s one of the most interesting things you can do in Germany.

Where is the Eagle’s Nest?

Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest location is the Kehlstein peak in Berchtesgaden National Park (hence the German name, Kehlsteinhaus ).

While it’s pretty much hugging the border of Austria, it’s technically part of Germany’s state of Bavaria nearby other touristic sights such as the Berchtesgaden Old Town and Königssee.

That didn’t stop me from getting a “Welcome to Austria!” text from my phone company when I reached the top though!

View from the Eagle's Nest in Germany, AKA the Kehlsteinhaus

Hitler at the Eagle’s Nest

Visitors are perhaps most intrigued by the connection between the Eagle’s Nest & Adolf Hitler. A few things need to be made clear about Hitler’s relationship with it though:

First – Hitler didn’t ever sleep at the Eagle’s Nest, rather, his actual vacation home was at the Berghof farther down the mountain, which was heavily bombed around the time of Hitler’s suicide, and completely destroyed by explosives in 1952 by the Bavarian government.

Second – while in theory, the Eagle’s Nest was meant to be where Hitler hosted and entertained special guests of state/other influential figures, rumour has it that Hitler didn’t actually like going up there too much thanks to his vertigo.

This might explain why there are only about a dozen documented visits to the Eagle’s Nest from Hitler, and only a few known visits from high-ranking guests of state (including Italian princess Maria-José and Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano).

Don’t worry though – Hitler may not have used it much, but it was put to good use by many other high ranking Nazi leaders, who apparently treated the Eagle’s Nest as their own private party house, including Eva Braun’s sister Margarete who got married here in 1944 to Hermann Fegelein, a high ranking SS officer.

The Eagle's Nest sun terrace

So why is the Eagle’s Nest such a big deal?

You might be wondering then… if Hitler didn’t spend that much time at the Eagle’s Nest, and the property didn’t actually host that many heads of state, then why is it such a popular place to visit?

Well, two reasons: Firstly, it’s pretty much the only surviving Nazi building in Obersalzburg, outlasting dozens of others that were destroyed during/after the war, including Hitler’s Berghof residence down the mountain.

And secondly, 2) the taking of Eagle’s Nest was seen as one of THE most symbolic and important captures for the Allies as World War II drew to a close.

It was not only one of the last remaining Nazi strongholds besides Berlin, but Allies saw it as Hitler’s little dreamhouse, where all his most important meetings and plans were hatched.

This made the capture of Eagle’s Nest a massive priority, like the seizure of the Nazi empire’s crown jewel. The eventual capture of Eagle’s Nest therefore became this big symbol of the Allies’ victory, one that has been cemented in our minds thanks to popular films and television like Band of Brothers.

Path leading to the Eagle's Nest in Germany with Fall foliage

The Capture of Eagle’s Nest and the Most Expensive Booze Binge in History?

One last thing: shortly after Hitler’s suicide, French and American troops raided the Eagle’s Nest, Berghof and its surroundings.

Their most precious discovery? A bunker full of hundreds of thousands of bottles of expensive wine and liquors – Hitler’s private collection.

And according to the book Wine & War , although German troops had bombed the elevator when they left (meaning no easy way to transport all that world class booze), resourceful soldiers relied on medical stretchers to transport their precious cargo.

The subsequent liquor binge that occurred is often billed as (probably) the most expensive boozefest in history. Whether that’s true or not, it’s an incredible story.

You can even see some glorious photos of troops enjoying the wine here .

Black and white photo of US soldiers drinking wine in Berchtesgaden

How to Reach the Eagle’s Nest

While visiting the Eagle’s Nest is a popular activity of choice for those staying in the Berchtesgaden National Park, it is also do-able as a day trip from both Salzburg and Munich. Here’s how.

Salzburg to Eagle’s Nest

Salzburg is a very common base for a day trip to the Eagle’s Nest.

You can get to the Berchtesgaden HBF in less than an hour, and have the entire day to enjoy the area! Here are some options if you’re planning your own Salzburg to Eagle’s Nest trip.

OPTION A: Book a Salzburg to Eagle’s Nest Tour

The easiest and simplest option would of course be to book a tour.

While there are options for public transportation, sometimes the ease of mind of having a guide with you to help navigate is priceless, and I would argue this is one of those cases.

Click here to browse prices and reviews for Salzburg to Eagle’s Nest Tours

View of the mountains from the Eagle's Nest

OPTION B: Go from Salzburg to the Eagle’s Nest with Public Transportation

To get to the Eagle’s Nest from Salzburg, there are basically three “steps”:

STEP ONE: Get from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden HBF. The most common way to do this is taking Bus 840, AKA the Watzmann-Express, which leaves once an hour and takes about 50 minutes to get to Berchtesgaden HBF.

STEP TWO: Get from Berchtesgaden HBF to the Eagle’s Nest Bus Stop (Kehlstein Busabfahrt), near the Obersalzburg Documentation Center.

You can either take the local bus 838 which leaves once an hour and takes 15 minutes to get there OR if the times don’t match up, catch a quick 7 minute taxi ride that will cost about 12 euros.

STEP THREE: Take the bus from Eagle’s Nest Bus Stop (Kehlstein Busabfahrt) up to the actual Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus).

This trip is NOT covered by the Bayern Ticket.

The first bus up is at 7:40am and the last bus down is at 4pm. Click here for more info.   

This is the only way to get up there besides a gruelling hike, and trust me, as soon as the bus starts moving up the mountain, you’ll be very glad you paid for the bus!

STEP FOUR: Once you disembark the bus, make sure to reserve your return time at the ticket window.

Then, head into the tunnel and take the elevator up to the Eagle’s Nest (or hike up for 30 minutes).

STEP FIVE: Yay! You’ve made it. Enjoy the views and the beer, my friend.

Munich to Eagle’s Nest

A day trip from Munich to the Eagle’s Nest is doable, but be warned that it will be a veryyyy long day. For a detailed step by step, you can read my full day trip guide from Munich to Eagle’s Nest.

I’ve done it independently on public transport myself, and while I’m still alive (and admit it was a super worthwhile trip), I was exhausted!

If you’re travelling with kids or a big family, I’d look into booking a tour so it’s a more relaxed day. Regardless though, here are your options.

OPTION A: Take an Eagle’s Nest Tour from Munich

There are many Eagle’s Nest Tours from Munich that you can take advantage of, so if you are visiting on one of the days where the tour is running, I recommend you go with this option.

While public transport might be marginally cheaper, there are so many transfers involved that the stress isn’t worth it, especially if you’re not well acquainted with the German language/train system.

This tour for instance is less than 60 euros, a bargain when you consider that a comfy coach ride is involved, rather than 2 train/bus transfers).

Here is a table with some other Munich to Eagle’s Nest tour options:

Train views from Munich to Berchtesgaden for a visit to the Eagle's Nest

OPTION B: Go from Munich to Eagle’s Nest by Public Transport

To get to the Eagle’s Nest from Munich, there are basically three “steps”:

STEP ONE: Get from Munich to Berchtesgaden HBF.

There are no direct trains, so you’ll be transferring in Freilassing.

This trip is offered once an hour and takes about 2.5 hours total to reach Berchtesgaden HBF. (The cheapest way to do this as a day trip would probably be to purchase a Bayern ticket which covers your transportation all day on regional transport in Bavaria).

STEP TWO: Get from Berchtesgaden HBF to the Eagle’s Nest Bus Stop (Kehlstein Busabfahrt), near the Obersalzburg Documentation Center.

STEP FOUR: Once you disembark the bus, make sure to reserve your return time at the ticket window. Then, head into the tunnel and take the elevator up to the Eagle’s Nest (or hike up for 30 minutes).

Meridian train in Munich

Important Must-Knows Before You Visit Eagle’s Nest

Alright, so with all that history and context out of the way, let’s talk you through how to see this amazing place for yourself.

I know that thorough information and resources for visiting Eagle’s Nest are quite scarce, so here are some must-knows/tips based on my personal experience visiting in October 2018.

The Eagle’s Nest is only open from mid-May to mid-October (depending on the weather)

People often get confused about the Eagle Nest in Germany’s opening times. Contrary to popular belief, this is not an attraction that is open year-round.

If you want to visit the Eagle’s Nest for yourself, you should know that it’s only open from mid-May to mid-October.

So, if you’re wondering “Can you visit the Eagle’s Nest in winter time?:” – the answer is no (unless you pursue a dangerous hike!)

To get an update on whether or not the Eagle’s Nest is open, visit the official website’s GERMAN page.

The English site isn’t updated as often and is more vague, but if you scroll down to the bottom of the German page here (use Google translate!), then you’ll find the dates for this year. (Checking the German version of sites is a great general Germany travel tip by the way!)

Fall mountain views in Berchtesgaden, Germany

The Eagle’s Nest is known locally as the Kehlsteinhaus

One important thing to remember if you visit the Eagle’s Nest is this: if you are looking at any official transportation timetables or even using the DB App, you won’t be finding the English name “Eagles Nest” anywhere.

Rather, everything will be using the local German name – Kehlsteinhaus (pronounced Kelsh-tie-n-house).

Many locals don’t know even know it as the Eagle’s Nest, so to make things simpler for you (if you choose to ask for directions or anything), remember that the locally recognized name is Kehlsteinhaus, and not Eagle’s Nest.

Sign at Kehlsteinhaus, AKA the Eagle's Nest in Germany

The only way up to the Kehlsteinhaus (apart from hiking) is by bus

The long road up to the Eagle’s Nest can only be accessible by the Regionalverkehr Oberbayern (RVO) bus number 849,  which has departures every 25 minutes from the Kehlsteinhaus Bus Stop, very close to the Documentation Center.

Private vehicles aren’t allowed to drive up this long winding road, which means no matter how you get to the Eagle’s Nest Bus Stop (whether by public transportation, car, or private tour) you will ultimately still need to take the RVO 849 up to the actual Eagle’s Nest.

This is a very scenic ride that winds for 7km, rises 800m and passes through 5 tunnels. On the way up, sitting on the right side of the bus will give you scenic views first, but as the bus turns, eventually those on the left side will get the views for a longer period of time.

Note that many private tours often do NOT include the price of this bus ticket in their tour price, so factor that into your costs.

Red buses at Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany

Admission is free, but you must pay for the bus ride up

Visitors often wonder if they need to buy Eagle’s Nest tickets. The answer is kind of complicated.

While it doesn’t cost anything to visit the actual Kehlsteinhaus, again, the bus ride is pretty much mandatory unless you decide to hike (in which case, yes, you’ve totally earned your free admission).

You can also buy one way tickets if you want to hike up, then take the bus down, or vice versa.

UPDATE: While the price was only 16.60 euros for a roundtrip ride when I visited, the official Eagle’s Nest website seems to now list the price at 28 euros for a roundtrip ride without a guest card. That to me is wildly expensive, but it’s possible the increased cost is due to renovation works and lost income during the 2020 season.

Eagle's Nest bus ticket prices, October 2018

There are lockers at the Kehlsteinhaus bus stop

If you are carrying a heavy backpack or something else that you’d rather not lug all the way with you to the Eagle’s Nest, I spotted these small lockers that you can use for only a 1 euro deposit.

You can find them at the Eagle’s Nest bus stop, right by the ticket office. These will definitely not fit any large luggage cases, but definitely smaller backpacks.

There are slightly larger lockers available at the Berchtesgaden HBF as well, which charge a small fee (usually 3 euros for a small locker, 5 euros for a big one for the day).

Nonetheless, I’d recommend you pack light if possible.

Lockers at the Eagle's Nest bus stop in Berchtesgaden, Germany

Remember to reserve your bus on the way down upon arrival

They’ll remind you of this plenty of times on the bus (plus you can just follow the mob of people), but once you get off the bus, it’s very important that you go up to the ticket window and reserve your ride back down. This is important for crowd control purposes.

How do you reserve your time? All you need to do is strut up to the ticket window, tell the employee which bus you would like to catch down (there’s a timetable at the window), then they will stamp your ticket with that time… and you’re all set!

Eagle's Nest bus ticket in Berchtesgaden, Germany

You are welcome to try to catch an earlier bus, but this will depend on availability and inquiries can be made with the driver.

No reservations are required, but arrive early and expect crowds

Having gone on a weekday in October, I didn’t encounter any line-ups at all apart from when we were waiting for our bus down.

The same can probably NOT be said for peak season, so do prepare for long line-ups and either plan your visit for the early morning (catching the first bus up) or for the late afternoon (catching the last bus down).

Cross on top of Eagle's Nest in Munich with a performer playing accordion surrounded by spectators

The Eagle’s Nest is dog-friendly

If you’re travelling with a dog, don’t worry, the Eagle’s Nest has no problem with your best friend tagging along.

They’re allowed everywhere on site, including the buses and elevator. And no, they don’t cost anything extra!

Mountain path in Berchtesgaden surrounded by Fall foliage

The Eagle’s Nest bus and elevator are wheelchair accessible, but there are no ramps inside the actual house

All the public RVO buses have ramps and are wheelchair friendly, but once you get to the actual Eagle’s Nest, there aren’t any ramps in the area, which means you’ll be limited to the restaurant.

The sun room and dining room have steps, so guests are advised to bring a companion to help them navigate.

From the parking lot, you either take an elevator up to the Eagle’s Nest or you can hike

The RVO Bus 849 drops you off at the Kehlsteinhaus parking lot, and from here, you’ll have access to some incredible views. BUT, you’re not quite at the actual Eagle’s Nest yet.

To get to the very top where you find the house, you need to walk through a chilly tunnel and take an elevator 130m up.

Before entering the elevator, you’ll be in the waiting area which is where any visitors (including Hitler himself) would have stood. It’s a pretty eerie feeling, not gonna lie…

Alternatively, the hike up will take about 30 minutes.

Hiking and trail signs in Berchtesgaden near Eagle's Nest

It’s a scenic walk with many switchbacks, but it is still steep so I would only go this route if you have proper shoes.

I also think the elevator is a highlight of the visit so I wouldn’t miss it. If you want the best of both worlds, just take the walk down like I did, so you can get all the views with half the work 😉

Girl walking down mountain path in Berchtesgaden surrounded by Fall foliage

Remember to dress appropriately – it gets chilly!

Remember, you WILL be on top of a mountain, so depending on the time of year, it’s wise to bring some extra layers.

It’s especially cold during the 100ish metres where you’re walking in the tunnel, although in peak season this might be some welcome respite from the heat.

Also, bring good walking shoes if you intend to explore.

Know that there is not a lot to do once you’re up at the Eagle’s Nest

The main function of the Eagle’s Nest today is it’s a restaurant, so don’t expect a lot of different exhibits and activities. 

There’s a few dining spaces (one which features a fireplace potentially gifted to Hitler from Mussolini) and my favourite part: the sun terrace, which now houses a few displays documenting the history of the Eagle’s Nest.

That’s kind of it. SO, don’t expect a big museum once you get up there, it’s really mainly a restaurant with a few informative plaques, and some scenic viewpoints.

Eagle's Nest cross with an accordion player

Eagle’s Nest Tours: Are They Worth It?

While it’s not too tough to do the trip yourself following the instructions above, there are (quite frankly) a lot of benefits to doing an Eagle’s Eagle’s Nest Tour vs the DIY route.

This is coming from someone who stubbornly did everything independently, and I’ll tell you why a tour might be a good idea.

For one, the ease of mind you get is priceless.

My friend and I have both been living in Germany for three years but still managed to mess up a little bit and miss our stop, which delayed our trip by about an hour.

It was also kind of stressful trying to coordinate our own transportation for so many legs of the trip (from Munich, we took a 2.5 hour train with one 7 minute connection in the middle, then had to take a taxi to the Eagle’s Nest bus stop, then one last bus from the Eagle’s Nest bus stop to the top).

Had we booked a tour, the day would have probably been way less stressful!

Crows at the Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany

Visiting the Eagle’s Nest Without a Tour: My Experience (2018 Season)

My friend Susanna and I ambitiously decided to tackle the Eagle’s Nest as a long day trip from Munich last October.

It was the last possible week to visit before they closed up for the season, so we got lucky with some crystal clear blue skies, minimal crowds, and the bonus oh ahh-worthy autumn colours.

Armed with a Bayern ticket , we were able to score unlimited regional transport for the both of us for only 32 euros, a huge steal considering how far we were going.

The plan was to take a Meridian train to Freilassing (the stop before the terminus, Salzburg HBF), then transfer there to get to Berchtesgaden HBF and then take public transport from there to the Kehlsteinhaus Bus Stop, at which point we’d catch the bus up to the top.

NOTE: Because the Bayern ticket is only valid from 9am onwards on weekdays, and the train was leaving Munich HBF at 8:56, we found a little loophole! The train actually passes through Munich OST (East) Station at 9:03, so used our regular Munich transport passes to commute to that stop, then hopped on there instead with our (now) valid Bayern ticket.

The journey (including the switch at Freilassing) takes 2.5 hours total. This would have been straightforward except we got lost gossiping and before we knew it, boom – we were in Salzburg.

… The last stop of our train.

Pride shattered, we calmly waited for the train to start up again and go back to Freilassing. This mistake set us back a bit time-wise, but nothing some sassy self-loathing couldn’t fix.

That’s the beauty of the Bayern ticket – unlimited rides means you’re covered for silly mistakes like these.

This short stumble later, we soon found ourselves at Berchtesgaden HBF. We immediately saw this sign for taxi prices, which was our Plan B if we didn’t catch the public bus (included in our Bayern tickets) to get to the Kehlstein bus stop.

Taxi prices at the Berchtesgaden HBF

We checked the timetable at the bus bay outside, and realized we’d have to wait about half an hour for the bus… or we could just splurge a little and get a 7 minute taxi. So we did!

The taxi dropped us off at the Kehlsteinhaus Busbahnhof, AKA the Eagle’s Nest Bus Station, where everyone (guided tours, DIYers, etc.) MUST catch a bus up to the Eagle’s Nest.

We bought roundtrip tickets for 16.60 (a little steep, yes, but not as steep as that MOUNTAIN you’re paying to not walk up). We loaded onto one of the buses waiting and we started moving almost immediately after.

Red buses waiting at the Kehlsteinhaus Busbahnhof

The drive up was ridiculously scenic, and we almost immediately realized how horrible it would have been to hike this thing.

The roads are SO STEEP and the only way up is either taking the bus or hiking. I’m glad we opted for the former.

Along the way, there’s a bit of generic commentary about the attraction in both English and German. We went through a few tunnels, and because the roads were winding, both sides of the bus got nice views while driving up.

Soon we were dropped off and reminded to go to the ticket office to reserve a time for our bus back down.

This didn’t cost any extra – I think it’s just to make sure there’s enough space on each bus for people to get down.

We took some photos at this viewpoint, but the real attraction was waiting an elevator ride away…

Tunnel leading to the brass elevator at the Eagle's Nest

To access the Eagle’s Nest, you have two options: a 130m elevator ride up, or a 30 minute hike.

We opted to get the best and laziest of both worlds – riding the elevator up then hiking down.

The tunnel leading to the elevator was FREEZING, and no photos of the elevator itself were allowed (it’s brass!) but it felt eerie knowing I was standing where Hitler had stood decades ago, along with all his visitors and other Nazi officials…

Tunnel at the Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany

The elevator was unexpectedly beautiful and luxurious, with mirrored brass plating all around, and even a folded-up emerald green seat.

It’s a bit claustrophobic because of all the people they try to cram in at once, but nonetheless, stepping in is like being warped into a time machine.

And of course, upon exiting and turning into the beer garden, this was the kind of view awaiting us:

Eagle's Nest beer garden views

While we weren’t equipped to do any real hiking, we did have a walk around to get a better vantage point over the Eagle’s Nest and the surrounding mountains. Pretty jawdropping stuff.

Hiking around the Eagle's Nest

And while the Eagle’s Nest may be one of the biggest attractions in the area, truth be told, there’s not a lot to do once you get to the top.

We admired the views and hiked a tiny bit just to see around, then headed into the building to explore.

If you’ve always dreamt of seeing Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest inside, I want to set your expectations straight.

Hitler didn’t actually ever spend the night here, and it’s a pretty small space that you can walk through in about 30 minutes… so don’t expect anything grand!

The former dining area has now taken on new life as additional seating for the restaurant.

Most notable here is the fireplace, decked out in Italian marble.

Some guides say this marble was gifted to Hitler by Mussolini but it’s unclear where this story stems from.

See how chipped it is? This is presumably from soldiers who wanted some marble souvenirs…

A fireplace at the Eagle's Nest with marble supposedly gifted by Mussolini

There’s also the Sun Terrace which is decked out with 14 new info boards containing historical photos and explanations of the Eagle’s Nest, its use and its construction.

I highly recommend you read each panel – the information they give is fascinating.

Info panels on the sun terrace at Eagle's Nest

After this short jaunt, we had already explored all the available parts of the Eagle’s Nest, so the next order of business was lunch!

We were lucky to snag a table with a view, so I got to inhale my very Bavarian lunch while looking over both Germany and Austria. ‘Not a bad place to over-eat!

Delicious Bavarian food at the Eagle's Nest beer garden

And then, after fuelling up, we began the hike back down, which was absurdly scenic and very easy downwards… despite the many switchbacks.

I’d definitely recommend taking the elevator up rather than hiking, because the elevator itself is one of the most interesting parts of the visit.

Hiking downwards is beautiful though, and well worth it if you have the time and energy.

Hiking down the Eagle's Nest

We made it down in time to catch the bus we reserved and even had some extra time to explore Berchtesgaden before heading back to Munich. All in all, a long day, but a great one too.

Eagle's Nest bus

The Eagle’s Nest/Kuhlsteinhaus Restaurant, Beer Garden and Food Options

If you’re looking for an estimate of the dishes/prices available at the Eagle’s Nest restaurant, here are some photos I took of the menu:

Menu at the Eagle's Nest beer garden

Live Eagle’s Nest Camera

If you’re curious about what it’s like up at the Kehlsteinhaus, or just feel like spying on your fellow tourists, you can access to a live Eagle’s Nest cam here . Just scroll down and click on the “Kehlstein” thumbnail.

Is the Eagle’s nest Open?

Last but not least, if you want the most up-to-date news on whether or not the Eagle’s Nest is actually open, the only source you should trust is the official website here.

Any other questions about the Eagle’s Nest and Kehlsteinhaus?

I hope you enjoyed this thorough guide to visiting the incredible Eagle’s Nest in Germany! Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments below, and have a great trip!

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8 thoughts on “An Escape to the Eagle’s Nest: Hitler’s Secluded Mountain Retreat”

First of all, I just have to say “I love your writing” it’s so damn entertaining! I can read your articles for days! (but there is only so many hours in a day!)

Thanks for the Eagle’s Nest guide, I have yet to go to Germany, but this trip will for sure be in my Husband “To DO List”. He loves history

This is amazing. I’m planning a trip to Salzburg & the Eagles Nest in September and this is EXACTLY the kind of guide I was looking for. Thank you so much!

Thank you!! You are the first blog I have seen to actually show how to get to Eagles Nest from Munich by public transport! I really appreciate it!

Glad you found it hopeful, Catherine! Hope you have a nice time at Eagle’s Nest!

I visited the eagles next in 2000, and found the whole experience fascinating. A walk back through time. It was a day I will never forget. It inspired me do some reading about Hitler and Eva Braun. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to visit.

Will be there in June 2020. Very helpful and informative. Thanks.

Planning a trip to Bavaria and Berchtesgarden this summer and the Eagles Nest are one of our priorities. This was great info and now I feel confident we can get there and have a wonderful visit!

Thanks for your blog! We plan a 6 week trip to Italy after I retire and I will definitely be checking into your reviews for planning.

Thank you for your thoughtful insights on visiting Kuhlsteinhaus. The article is extremely helpful for those traveling to learn more about the history of mankind. All the best in your travels!

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WWII Nazi Munich Tour: Hitler and the Third Reich

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  • If you are interested in including a visit to Dachau Memorial Site, please browse our Dachau Day Trips tour and reach out with any questions.

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Eagle's Nest Historical Tour

Recommended by the major travel guide books.

The so-called "Eagle's Nest" was built as a 50th birthday present to Adolf Hitler. Join us for a detailed historical account of the construction and use of the Eagle's Nest, a unique mountaintop conference center, as well as for a driving tour of the Obersalzberg area, the site of Hitler's former residence and second seat of power. A visit to the underground bunker system gives an idea of the monumental scale of the former headquarters compound in the German Alps.

The Eagles Nest: historic viewpoint high above Berchtesgaden

Obersalzberg: the leaders' compound

Starting with a brief account of Hitler's life, the bus takes you up steep mountain roads to Obersalzberg, a tiny community above Berchtesgaden. Here the history of Obersalzberg's takeover by the Nazi Party and Martin Bormann's transformation of the mountain into Hitler's Southern Headquarters will be told. During the driving tour you will view some original Third Reich buildings dating back to when the area was Hitler's second seat of government. Within the former compound, you'll catch glimpses of buildings that were used as Albert Speer's home, Speer's architectural studio, Martin Bormann's model farm, Nazi Party headquarters, the Platterhof's theater, SS-Officers' housing, Göring's adjutancy, State Security Service headquarters and the location of Hitler's home, the Berghof, (no longer standing today). The description of Obersalzberg and the historic importance of Hitler's Berghof in world history will be made easy to understand with the use of original photographs and a model of the compound's main buildings.

The bunker system

At Obersalzberg, you will also be shown one of the unterground bunker complexes below the mountain. The extensive fortress-like system was built as an air raid shelter, as war headquarters and as a possible last refuge for the leaders of the Reich.

The Eagle's Nest

You will then board a specially equipped mountain bus for a breathtaking drive up the 6.5 km (4 mile) road on the edge of the cliff; leading up a 27% incline to a high mountain parking lot, just below the Eagle's Nest. The original brass-lined elevator will then transport you up through the heart of Kehlstein mountain straight into the building itself. Perched up at 1834m (6017ft) the Eagle's Nest and the road network leading to it were considered feats of engineering Constructed as a 50th birthday gift for Adolf Hitler, the diplomatic teahouse construction details and history will be told in detailed during the guided tour. On the trip back to the starting point in Berchtesgaden, the tour guide will recount the demise of the high Nazi leaders who once made Obersalzberg their alpine redoubt.

What's so special about this tour?

Ours is the original and authoritative tour of the  Eagle's Nest ,  Obersalzberg and Bunker System . It is conducted by professional guides whose mother tongue is English. This tour has been recommended by The New York Times, Lonely Planet Guides, Frommer's Guides, Fodor's Guides, Rick Steve's Guides, Europe by Eurail Guides, Let's Go Guides, the Rough Guides, German Life Magazine and numerous travel magazines and travel specialists. It is conducted daily from mid-May through October (provided the Eagle's Nest is open) in an objective and comprehensive manner, making the history of the former Nazi headquarters easily understandable to all. Reservations required.

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Third Reich Tour (Hitler´s Munich)

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Start time:

Febr. 1st- March 31st

Tu + Th + Sa  + Su  10:30 am

April 1st – April 3oth

daily 10:10 am

May 1st – Oct. 31st

daily at 10:10

Th + Fr + Sa + Su 02:50 pm

Nov. 1st – Dec. 31

daily at 10:30 am

no tour on Dec 24th + 25th + 31st. + Jan 1st.

Jan. 2nd – Febr. 29th

2,5 – 3 hours

27,00 € und 25,00 € for <26 and 67+

children under 12 are free

Yes, please. Although our guides are paid, it is still customary in Munich to tip your tour guide as it is an important part of the guide’s income.

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Meeting point:

The tour starts on Marienplatz right in front of the Tourist Information for the City of Munich in the Gothic town, see map on page meeting point.

Private tour:

Are you looking for a more personalised Third Reich tour with your own guide and starting time of your choice?

Would you like to get picked up from your hotel?

Would you like us to make a restaurant reservation?

Whatever you like, we can arrange it: Private Third Reich Tour (Hitler´s Munich)

In 1919, Germany was emerging from World War I as a defeated and humiliated nation with Munich in the grips of hyperinflation and Bavaria dominated by revolution and assassination. Out of this fertile soil of chaos rose the Nazi movement and one of history‘s most powerful dictators, Adolf Hitler. Join us to explore the dark side of Munich’s history as the birth place of Nazism. Follow the growth of the movement from its first mass meeting at the Hofbräuhaus, to its failed attempt to seize power at the Feldherrnhalle.

We take you to the site of mass party rallies at Königsplatz and stop in the Hofgarten to talk about The White Rose resistance movement. The tour covers all important facts and sites that played a role in the origin of this dark chapter, that ended with the beautiful city of Munich in ruins.

germany hitler tour

Third Reich

10 am daily year round, also 2.30 pm April to October

Meeting Point

Reichstagufer 17, 10117 Berlin

aged 18 to 64

Senior/Student/Youth

aged 65 and over/7 to 17

WelcomeCard

aged 6 and under

Required Transport Ticket

No public transportation ticket required

germany hitler tour

  • Explore factors that sowed the seeds for the rise and fall of Hitler and the Third Reich.
  • Gain an insight into everyday life in Berlin during WWII.
  • Learn about the destruction of Berlin during WWII, and see how Germany seeks ways to confront its past, through memorials, monuments and education.
  • See an imposing example of Nazi architecture at the former Air Force Ministry on Wilhelmstraße, where Goering orchestrated the Luftwaffe’s bombing campaigns of European cities during WWII.
  • Look around the Topography of Terror, an exhibition built on the former HQ of the Gestapo, SS and Reich Security.
  • Hear the nail-biting narrative of the final days of combat – the battle for Berlin.
  • Stand above Hitler’s bunker for an account of how the last days of the war played out in this underground complex and culminated in Hitler’s suicide.

germany hitler tour

Starting Point

Meet your guide on the square next to the Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears), Reichstagufer 17, 10117 Berlin.

Description

Forever marred by their inglorious Nazi past, a string of sites with a connection to the Third Reich form the backbone of this tour. Your expert guide will bring these locations to life, as you take a deep dive into the pivotal role Berlin played in the rise and fall of the Third Reich.

You will follow the route of the advancing Soviet army towards the final battle for the Reichstag in 1945, and discover the remains of the “Thousand-Year Reich”: Goering’s Air Force Ministry, Goebbels’s Propaganda Ministry, and the ruins of Himmler’s SS and Gestapo HQ, now occupied by the Topography of Terror exhibition.

At the site of Hitler’s Reich Chancellery and the exact location of the Führerbunker, your guide will give you a blow-by-blow account of the last days spent underground in the bunker, Hitler’s suicide and the fate of his remains.

Germany’s courageous resistance movement carried out many heroic acts – your guide will recount the events of the day on which they set in motion their plan to assassinate Hitler, in a desperate bid to bring down the brutal Nazi dictatorship.

You will stand at the location of the last battle to be fought in Berlin before Germany’s unconditional surrender in 1945. The imposing Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten commemorates the fallen Red Army soldiers, and its tanks and field artillery serve as a reminder of the ferocity of the fighting.

Finishing Point

The tour finishes at the Topography of Terror.

Insider Route

This itinerary is intended to give you a general idea of our route on this tour. You can expect to see and hear stories about all of these sites, as well as many more! Please be aware that the route is subject to change on any given day, should unforeseen circumstances arise.

  • Meeting point – on the square next to the Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears), Reichstagufer 17
  • Trains to Life – Trains to Death trains to life Memorial
  • Reichstag parliament building – the Reichstag fire of 1933 paved the way for the Nazis to seize power
  • Soviet War Memorial on the 17th June Street in Tiergarten
  • Brandenburger Gate – River of Fire – Nazi supporters march throught he Brandenburger Gate in 1933
  • Akademie der Kunst – Realm of Albert Speer
  • Wilhelm Str. – the seat of Nazi exucutive power
  • The site of Hitler’s bunker and suicide
  • Goering’s Airforce/Luftwaffe Ministry
  • Topography of Terror – site of the former HQ of the SS and Gestapo

Insider Reviews

Very knowledgeable guide..

Very knowledgeable guide. He majored in 20th German History. Roger May '24

Great Experience!

We did the Third Reich tour with Georgia and she was great. Very interesting, good management of time, very informative. Would totally recommend this tour and Georgia to friends who visit Berlin. Sheryl W. May '24

Excellent tour!

Extremely knowledgeable guide and well-presented. And fun, to boot. Larry May '24

Great tour.

Chloe was a very knowedgeable, informative and friendly guide. She answered our questions and provided lots of information for our group Would definitely recommend Deborah O. May '24

Would highly recommend this.

Would highly recommend this. Artie was a very informative guide and also very passionate and articulate about the subject. Andrew Apr. '24

An excellent tour.

Jasper guided an informative and engaging tour that led us on a 3 hour walk around Berlin. He provided the perfect amount of background to make sure I understood the significance of what we were seeing. The tour was easy to find and well paced. Joshua E. Apr. '24

Really interesting tour!

Jasper did a great job of showing us lots of very interesting sights relating to the rise of the Third Reich. We were a small group which allowed for questions and chat. Really well organised, perfect length and very informative. Emma L. Apr. '24

Excellent Tour.....Excellent Guide

Well worth the money a very knowledgeable guide that kept us entertained the three hours flew by! Mark March '24

Would highly recommend this tour.

Our guide Tzvika was very knowledgeable and provided us with a lot of insight- thoroughly enjoyed our experience and would highly recommend this tour. Mark Wig Feb. '24

Informative, friendly and professional.

Our tour instructor was very informative, friendly and professional. Would recommend to friends. David R. Feb. '24

Highlight of our trip!

We absolutely loved this tour. Our guide, Hannah, had an incredible amount of knowledge about every location and the third reich. This tour is a must-do. Caleb O. Jan. 2024

Interesting sites cold weather but good! Rob H. Dec. '23

Fascinating tour.

This was a fascinating tour, that covered so much. Our guide also touched on the Cold War as we walked around too, weaving seamlessly. I would definitely recommend to others, but please bring comfy walking shoes as it is 3+ hours Leigh B. Nov. '23

5* all the way.

A very educational tour with our exceptional guide Tobi. The five stars for fun factor do not reflect the appalling subject matter but the off topic anecdotes added to the whole experience. I would thoroughly recommend. Mick Nov. '23

Excellent tour.

Easy to book. Easy to find the group. We had the best guide we’ve ever had, Hannah. She was so knowledgeable, kind, passionate about the subject, and shared incredible stories. C.McQ. Oct. '23

Incredibly knowledgeable and interesting tour guide.

Excellent! H. Kate Sept. '23

I would highly recommend this tour.

I would highly recommend this tour to everyone. And if you’re lucky enough to get Rafa? You’re on to a winner , no questions went unanswered and he’s a encyclopaedia of information. Anthony R. Sept. '23

Me and my guests loved the experience in general. No delays, compact, well explained and above all our guide Artie was perfect. . Hakan M. Sept. '23

My family did the Third Reich...

My family did the Third Reich and Cold War tours. They were excellent and good value. The tours go at a good pace and help orientate you to the city and the layers of history - would recommend doing them early in your visit. My 12 and 17 year old boys particularly enjoyed them and they were really engaged by our fantastic guide. We had Campbell for both the tours. He was knowledgeable, kind and interactive. I. B.-J. Sept. '23

I had a 3-hour Third Reich tour...

I had a 3-hour Third Reich tour with Nickolai and loved everything about the tour. Honestly, there was nothing to dislike; the 3 hours with him is one of the biggest highlights of my short stay here in Berlin. I highly recommend anyone visiting Berlin to take a tour with Insider Tour. Ranit R. Sept. '23

Very good tour, Paul is a great guide. ...

Very good tour, Paul is a great guide. I learned a lot of new information, along with a good review of material I already knew. I'd definitely recommend this tour for people interested in detail about the Third Reich. Douglas C. Sept. '23

I highly recommend this very informative tour.

I highly recommend this very informative tour. Our guide Cian was very knowledgeable, clear in his presentation & knew how to balance the difficult information with a bit of humor. The tour company Insider Tours graciously accommodated me on a tour two days after the one I paid for, but was not able to attend. Betty G. Aug. '23

This was an amazing experience.....

This was an amazing experience from so many perspectives. Meeting briefly with so many cultures from across the world, with an amazing guide that was so rich in knowledge of the events of the Third Reich - and to share in such deep detail was awe-inspiring. The guides clearly love what they do and deliver with passion - it was a tremendously worthwhile experience and will certainly return! Garth G. Aug. '23

Definitely worth it.

Easy to book, our guide Jim was Knowledgeable guide and visited all the important Third Reich sites. Definitely worth it. M. Smit Dec. '22

Insightful and thought provoking.

Guide was knowledgeable, informative, engaging and fun and took us on the journey of the rise and fall of the Third Reich. Insightful and thought provoking. Mike R. Feb. '23

Informative tour with great guide.

The tour was really very informative, explaining how Hitler and Nazi came into power and maintained absolute power throughout those years. Our guide, was really knowledgeable on the topic. I particularly like how he ended the tour with a thought provoking question on the line between reistance and acceptance.

Fascinating and informative walking tour.

This tour was informative, engaging, and worth every penny! Our tour guide braved the cold and rain to provide us with a great tour filled with fascinating history. If you're interested at all in the Third Reich/WWII History/Hitler make sure to set time aside during your stay in Berlin to take this tour. It will not disappoint!

Great walking tour.

Our guide was very knowledgeable and I could have spoken to him all day about this kind of stuff. The tour visited some great sites with interesting history with the bunker right at the end of the tour. The tour was paced well and there was plenty of time to ask questions.

Guide made the tour.

We had a great tour today with Insider. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable, he struck exactly the right tone for such a delicate topic, he had a great sense of humor, and, above all, he left us with questions to keep pondering

Great experience.

Our guide Kai was very friendly and knowledgeable, spoke great English, and shared some really insightful and personal stories.

Recommended!

We had a great tour with Campbell. Lots of interesting facts, but also time for jokes. He took the time not only te guide us past the highlights, but also to explain the situation, the events in time that lead to the rise of the nazi’s. Also with much photo’s and illustrations to illustrate his story and eye for the little details along the way. It was an extremely cold and windy day, but even then it ended to soon for us. Would definitely recommend. 580fleurv

germany hitler tour

germany hitler tour

FEATURED EXPERIENCE NO. 05

Visit the site of adolf hitler's führerbunker, the nazi leader's subterranean sanctuary and final command centre.

Sign at the Führerbunker

Did you know...

The apartment buildings surrounding the site of the Führerbunker now were built in the 1980s by the East German government, as luxury apartment houses for important members of East German society.

Site of the Führerbunker

The Führerbunker

  • Gertrud-Kolmar-Strasse, 10117 Berlin
  • S-bahn Brandenburger Tor

Some useful links related to the Brandenburg Gate:

FEATURED EXPERIENCES

Brandenburg Gate at Night

Walk Through The Brandenburg Gate

Museum Island in Berlin - UNESCO World Heritage site

Explore The State Musems On Museum Island

Closeup of the Berlin TV Tower - Fernsehturm

Visit The Berlin TV Tower – The Fernsehturm

Checkpoint Charlie Border Crossing

Cross The Cold War Border At Checkpoint Charlie

Site of the Führerbunker - Hitler's Chancellery Gardens

Visit The Site Of Adolf Hitler’s Führerbunker

Inside The Reichstag Building At Night

Visit The Reichstag Cupola At Night

Bebelplatz In Berlin Mitte

Explore The Forum Fridericianum

Memorial for the murdered jews of europe in Berlin

Journey Into The Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe

Frieze on the top of the Neue Wache

Step Inside The Neue Wache

Neue Synagoge in the former Jewish Quarter of Berlin

Explore The Former Jewish Quarter – Spandauer Vorstadt

Bernauer Strasse Berlin Wall

Visit The Remains Of The Berlin Wall

The Glienicke Brücke - the Bridge of Spies

Walk Across The Bridge Of Spies

Topography of Terror Museum Building

Explore The Topography Of Terror

Inside the Tränenpalast

Enter The Palace Of Tears – The Tränenpalast

The Seating In The Olympic Stadium In West Berlin

Step Inside The Berlin Olympic Stadium

Exterior of the Stasi Museum in Berlin

Explore Erich Mielke’s Office At The Stasi Museum

Strausberger Platz

Walk Along Karl Marx Allee

Exterior View of the Nikolaikirche

Visit The Oldest Church In Berlin – The Nikolaikirche

Frederick the Great's palace - Potsdam Sanssouci

Visit The Grave Of Frederick The Great

The Ruins of Anhalter Bahnhof

Walk Through The Ruins Of Anhalter Bahnhof

The 17. June Memorial

Stand On The Platz Des Volksaufstandes

Claus von Stauffenberg Memorial

Visit The German Resistance Museum

The Soviet War Memorial in the Tiergarten

Visit The Soviet War Memorial In The Tiergarten

The Georg Elser Memorial on Wilhelmstrasse

See The Georg Elser Memorial On Wilhelmstrasse

The Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis Kirche

Step Inside The Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis Kirche

Gleis 17 in the Grunewald

Visit The Gleis 17 Memorial

The Mausoleum at Schloss Charlottenburg

Visit The Schloss Charlottenburg Mausoleum

Interbau 57 - Klaus Müller-Rehm and Gerhard Siegmann - Berlin

Explore The Interbau – IBA 57

Interior of the Potsdam Cecilienhof Palace

Visit Cecilienhof – Site Of The Potsdam Conference

View from the Panorama Punkt

Ride The Fastest Elevator In Europe

Soviet War Memorial Treptower Park - View of Graves

Visit The Soviet War Memorial In Treptower Park

Tower A entrance to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Visit The Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial

Overview of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp

Visit The Ravensbrück Concentration Camp Memorial

Deutsch Russiches Museum

Visit Karlshorst – The Site Of The German Surrender

the Socialist Cemetery in Friedrichsfelde

Visit The Socialists Cemetery – Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde

The Soviet Cemetery in Schönholzer Heide

Visit The Soviet War Memorial In Pankow

Seelow Heights Memorial

Visit the Seelow Heights Memorial

Commonwealth War Cemetery Berlin

Visit The Commonwealth War Cemetery

A Tram Crossing The Bösebrücke In Berlin

Cross The Bösebrücke At Night

The Allied Museum in Dahlem

Explore The Allied Museum In Dahlem

Memorial for the Euthanasia Murders in Brandenburg

Visit The Brandenburg T4 Euthanasia Memorial

Weissensee Jewish Cemetery - Entrance

Visit The Jewish Cemetery In Weissensee

Volkspark Friedrichshain Flak Tower

Explore The Volkspark Friedrichshain Flak Tower

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International Edition

germany hitler tour

What Did the Art of the Third Reich Look Like?

A fter seizing power in Germany, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis presented a new ideology of art which was mostly based on conservative values and Hitler’s own failed artistic aspirations. All avant-garde was deemed ‘degenerate’ and it was either destroyed or displayed in mock exhibitions. Read on to learn more about artistic protest, compliance, fraud, and the art in the Third Reich.

Art in the Third Reich: Hitler’s Failed Artistic Career 

Before entering politics, Adolf Hitler aspired to become a professional artist but was rejected by the Vienna Art Academy twice. Although his paintings were technically good, they lacked originality, dynamism, and soul. As noted by his teachers, he focused on architectural details and geometric forms but was clearly indifferent to painting people. He was a staunch opponent of everything non-figurative and non-realistic, believing art should be visually pleasing, didactic, and rely on the Neoclassical standards of beauty and harmony.

Hitler’s own artistic preferences became the basis for the ideology of German art of the time.

Shortly before Hitler’s rise to power, a group of European psychiatrists conducted research on artworks created by psychiatric institution patients. Their theory was that by examining the drawing style and its particular features, a medical professional could formulate a precise diagnosis and the origin of the illness.

The Nazi scientists went further with this questionable theory, turning it backward. According to them, modern art with its distorted proportions and increasingly non-realistic forms was the sign of mental degeneracy and it was seen as the product of enemy propaganda aimed to destroy the German nation. The paintings of Modigliani and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner were juxtaposed with the photographs of intellectually disabled people, attempting to prove the point. French Symbolism was denounced as morally decaying and dissolute. The main enemies of the Nazis were the Dada artists, who demonstrated an open anti-war stance and deliberately ruined artistic canons.

Official Art: Realism and Romanticism 

Analyzing art through the prism of racial theories and ideological postulates, Hitler and his followers defined the short list of acceptable art forms. They were supposed to glorify German nature and history instead of urban life, motherhood instead of lust, and an ideal healthy body instead of expressionist experiments with line and form. Among the accepted art movements was German Romanticism , which allegedly dwelled upon the soul of the nation.

Despite Hitler’s hate of most European Symbolist works, Arnold Böcklin, the great German Symbolist painter, was one of his favorites. He kept one of the thirteen versions of the famous Isle of the Dead in his private collection. In Bocklin’s work, Hitler saw the ideal depiction of German nature, national aspirations, and original Germanic mythology. The painting is now exhibited in the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

To take care of sorting acceptable art from degenerate abominations, Hitler arranged a special commission led by one of his personal favorites, painter Adolf Zigler. Ziegler was a fierce fighter of everything abstract and non-realistic, depicting mostly rosy-cheeked children held by their flawless German mothers and scenes from imaginary Antiquity. Nonetheless, Ziegler’s appointment was deeply and bitterly ironic.

Before the Nazis came to power, he was an artist with modernist aspirations, but his teachers deemed him talentless and unoriginal. Zigler felt much more comfortable and accomplished as a bureaucrat, finally exerting power over those who did not accept him as equal. Under Ziegler’s command, most avant-garde artists were either prohibited from painting (with the special police units raiding their studios and checking if their brushes were damp) or left the country altogether, afraid for their lives.

Degenerate Art Exhibition 

In 1937 Munich, Adolf Ziegler’s commission opened a large-scale exhibition of the most progressive and bold avant-garde. Titled Degenerate Art , the show was a cautionary tale about corrupt and mentally ill artists looking to undermine the German culture. Each room of the exhibition signified a specific reason to be offended: Jewish artists supposedly mocking German workers, painters ridiculing womanhood, or sculptors promoting a new racial ideal in the form of an African man. The exhibition curators did not forget to highlight the fact that avant-garde artists often drew inspiration from non-Western art , thus mimicking the inferior races and demonstrating their own degradation. In the pavilion next to it, a satellite exhibition took place. Titled The Great German Art, it presented counter-examples of true artistic accomplishment.

The show presented more than six hundred objects and was a huge success, with one million visitors attending it over the first six weeks. After Munich, it traveled throughout Germany and was supposed to tour Fascist Italy as well. However, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini refused to host the exhibition, offended by the inclusion of Italian Futurists in it. Unlike Hitler, Mussolini deemed all forms of art useful for propaganda purposes.

However, despite the loud denouncement of all things avant-garde, the Nazi officials were not as adamant in their stance when it came to making money. After cataloging thousands and thousands of looted and confiscated art objects, they sold the most valuable of them to foreign cultural institutions, including MoMA. Some remained in German archives as research material for further degeneracy theories, while the rest were burnt and destroyed. Today, the Nazi-looted artifacts often provoke restitution issues, with families of their original owners claiming their ownership rights.

Fraud and Manipulation: The Case of Han van Meegeren 

While some avant-garde artists suffered under the pressure of the new power, others were ready to use the situation to their advantage. Art collecting was a popular hobby among the top Nazi officials, constantly supplied by confiscated and looted artworks, as well as gifts from collaborationist authorities. Hermann Göring , the founder of the Gestapo and the German Air Force commander, kept the most astonishing collection, inferior only to that of Hitler. Göring collected almost anything but had a particular admiration for the Old Masters.

In Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, another artist with a wounded ego finally found his calling. Han van Meegeren was a mediocre conservative painter with aspirations of joining the ranks of Rembrandt. In the 1930s, desperate for fame and money, Meegeren started to forge the paintings of Johannes Vermeer . The forgeries were crude yet convincing for a wartime Dutch art world.

Göring, astonished by the prospect of owning a genuine Vermeer, traded van Meegeren’s painting for 137 works from his private collection. Meanwhile, the forger enjoyed a life of wealth and excess, buying property throughout Europe and throwing lavish parties. However, soon after the liberation of the Netherlands, he faced trial for selling Dutch cultural property to the enemy and he had to confess.

Underground Resistance of Claud Cahun

However, not all artists chose between complying with the regime and fleeing the country. Some artists chose to remain home and fight the enemy using their own means and methods. The most famous case of artists working for anti-Nazi resistance is French photographers Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore. Cahun and Moore were a couple of photographers working close to the Surrealist tradition. They had prolific and exciting careers in Paris before moving and settling on the island of Jersey in 1937.

Three years later, the Nazis captured the island. Cahun and Moore, both gender-nonconforming artists of Jewish origin who experimented with their expression, were hardly deemed respectable citizens under the new rule. Instead of going into hiding, they launched an undercover propaganda project aiming to undermine the positions of the occupying force. They created a fictional persona of a German soldier under the pseudonym The Soldier with No Name , who was supposedly disillusioned with his government and its ideals. The non-existent soldier wrote anti-war and anti-Nazi manifestos and spread them among other soldiers. They printed and spread thousands of fliers, creating an impression of a large-scale conspiracy. In 1944, Moore and Cahun were arrested and sentenced to death for their activities, yet the sentence was never carried out since Jersey was finally liberated months later.

Art in the Third Reich: Rethinking the Difficult Legacy 

The issue of preserving or erasing the painful legacy of the Nazi decades is pressing for German art curators and historians. While some prefer to ignore the topic entirely (like in the case of Arnold Böcklin in Alte Nationalgalerie), others attempt to research and even relaunch some Nazi-era projects to understand how these things were even possible. In 1991, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened a reconstruction of the 1937 Degenerate Art exhibition. The museum used the original inventory and records remaining from the Munich show. However, the task was not simple for the curators since some works did not survive the Nazi years, and others were listed under different titles and had no elaborate descriptions. The final project was a deeply disturbing reconstruction of one of the darkest periods of human history, put into a wider context and demonstrating a bridge from hate speech to genocidal actions.

Alpenhof, by Adolf Hitler, 1926. Source: Wikipedia

Celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month 2024

  • Institute of International Education

IIE is proud to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month and pay tribute to the contributions and leadership of Jewish Americans to IIE, the field of international education, and the world. To commemorate Jewish Heritage Month this year, we took a look back at the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced German (later Foreign) Scholars.

In the 1930s, Jewish scholars had been dismissed from their university positions in Europe. Through the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced German Scholars, IIE stepped in, providing space for some of Europe’s brightest minds to cultivate their ideas and continue their research at U.S. colleges and universities; these acts saved the lives and scholarship of prominent scientists, writers, and other talented individuals who might have faced persecution or death because of their background and beliefs.

germany hitler tour

From 1933 to 1935, American broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow chaired the Committee, playing a lead role in finding positions and securing funding for refugee scholars from Europe. It was after his time at IIE that Murrow rose to prominence, covering World War II in a series of live CBS radio broadcasts from Europe. In an interview later in his life, Murrow reflected on his time at IIE: “It was the most personally satisfying undertaking in which I have ever engaged, and contributed more to my knowledge of politics and international relations than any similar period in my life.”

It was the most personally satisfying undertaking in which I have ever engaged, and contributed more to my knowledge of politics and international relations than any similar period in my life.” Edward R. Murrow Assistant Director of IIE and Chair of the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Scholars

Determined to surmount financial and social barriers to entry at U.S. higher education institutions, IIE worked with philanthropic organizations to secure funding for the scholars. The contributions of the Rockefeller Foundation and private philanthropists would extend beyond $1.5 million and between 1933 and 1946, approximately 400 European scholars received such aid. United States higher education gained notable scholars such as Martin Buber, Paul Tillich, Jacques Maritain, and even Nobel Prize laureates.

These four biographical portraits represent just a few of the intellectuals aided by the work of the Emergency Committee:

germany hitler tour

Felix Bloch

October 23, 1905-September 10, 1983

OF NOTE: NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS (1952)

Felix Bloch began studying physics in his hometown of Zurich before moving on to complete his PhD at Leipzig University in 1928. In 1933, while Bloch was serving as a lecturer in Germany, Adolf Hitler came to power, which prompted the young physicist, who was Jewish, to flee Germany. In 1934, the Stanford University Department of Physics Chairperson invited Bloch to join the faculty. Bloch went on to become one the world’s preeminent physicists, known for his work on nuclear magnetic induction. In 1952, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics.

germany hitler tour

James Franck

August 26, 1882 – May 21, 1964

NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS: NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS (1925)

Franck was a German physicist who resigned his position at the University of Göttingen in 1933 following Hitler’s rise to power. Franck showed solidarity with his Jewish colleagues who were being dismissed from German universities under Nazi rule. In 1935, Franck moved to the United States, where he was appointed professor at Johns Hopkins University. He eventually worked on the atomic bomb with other scientists on the Manhattan Project. In addition to the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1925, Franck was awarded the Max Planck Medal in 1953.

germany hitler tour

Thomas Mann

June 6, 1875-August 12, 1955

OF NOTE: NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE (1929)

Paul Thomas Mann is renowned throughout the world for his body of powerful and often profoundly symbolic literature. His 1901 novel, Buddenbrooks, was such a tour de force that the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to the German writer in 1929 primarily for that literary masterpiece. Years after receiving the award, Mann began a life of self-imposed exile in response to the rise of the Nazis.

Mann lived in Switzerland initially, but in 1938, the President of Princeton University invited him to serve as a lecturer in the United States. Mann eventually moved to California, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen before returning to Europe, where he died in 1955.

germany hitler tour

Johanna Gabrielle Ottilie “Tilly” Edinger

November 13, 1897- May 27, 1967

OF NOTE: FOUNDER OF PALEONEUROLOGY

Tilly Edinger, a German-born Jewish scientist, published her first book, Fossil Brains, in 1929, establishing the discipline of paleoneurology.

Putting her at even greater risk from the Nazi regime, Edinger had been going deaf from otosclerosis since she was a teenager. In the United States, she continued her work at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology and became the first female President of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Edinger published nearly one hundred books and articles, singlehandedly establishing that fossilized brains could inform our understanding of brain evolution.

To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories .

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Here’s Everything Coming to Netflix in June 2024

By Emma Specter

Image may contain Klebber Toledo Camila Queiroz Accessories Bracelet Jewelry Adult Person Face Happy and Head

Summer is almost upon us—get here faster, Memorial Day!—and with it comes a whole new crop of movies and TV shows to watch on Netflix, because come on, you can't spend all day at the pool. (Or if you do, please make sure to liberally apply a really good sunscreen .) Below, find a roundup everything coming to the streaming service next month, from the rest of Bridgerton ’s third season to a brand-new Love Is Blind fix and beloved rom-coms like La La Land.

Too Old for Fairy Tales 2

30 for 30: Once Brothers

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Big Fat Liar

The Breakfast Club

Burn After Reading

The Conjuring

The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

The Devil’s Own

The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 1

The Divergent Series: Insurgent

Dune (1984)

Heartland: Season 16

Kicking & Screaming

Land of the Lost

The Lego Movie

National Security

On the Basis of Sex

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Strawberry Shortcake’s Summer Vacation

Two Can Play That Game

30 for 30: Lance

30 for 30: The Good, The Bad, The Hungry

30 for 30: The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius

Little Baby Bum: Music Time: Season 2

How I Met Your Mother: Seasons 1-9

Jo Koy: Live from Brooklyn

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As we crammed into court, one big question remained. But Trump's trial came to an anticlimax before the cliffhanger

Analysis As we crammed into court, one big question remained. But Trump's trial came to an anticlimax before the cliffhanger

A court sketch depicts Donald Trump yawning. He wears a suit and blue ties.

Welcome back to your weekly update on US politics, where North America bureau chief Jade Macmillan catches you up on the biggest developments in America as we hurtle towards election day in November.

Five weeks after Donald Trump's New York criminal trial began, it looked like the court could be racing towards the finish line.

Prosecutors rested their case, hoping they'd painted a convincing picture of a criminal conspiracy involving a former president, his fixer , a tabloid and a porn star .

As the defence took its turn, one big question remained unanswered: would Trump himself take the stand?

He'd talked a big game in the lead-up, insisting he'd "absolutely" testify in the case he's described as a "scam".

Donald Trump stands with his hands outstretched, holding documents in one of them. He wears a yellow tie.

But as his lawyers excused their second witness, the sense of anticipation that had been building in the courtroom where I sat crammed into the public gallery this week was quickly dashed.

"Your Honour, the defence rests," his lawyer, Todd Blanche, told the court.

Both sides have now finished making their cases but upcoming interruptions to the court schedule, including a looming long weekend, mean the trial has been paused on a cliffhanger.

It means it won't be until Wednesday, Australian time, that closing arguments begin, with the jury to start its deliberations after that.

What it's like inside the Trump trial

The rather shabby appearance of the criminal courthouse in lower Manhattan belies the history being made within its walls.

Scaffolding covers the exterior of the 83-year-old building where Trump's motorcade makes its way each day the trial is in session.

A crowd gathers outside a grey/brown building. Someone holds a large blue "Trump 2024" flag.

The entire 15th floor has been blocked off just for this trial, with extra security checks needed to get down the dark hallway leading to the courtroom entrance.

That same journey passes by a fenced-off area, near the toilets, where a small group of press is permitted to wait for Trump to address them as he enters and exits each day.

Inside the courtroom, wooden benches are packed with Trump's entourage, reporters and members of the public.

Some in the gallery use small sets of binoculars — apparently the trial's hottest accessory — to try to get a better view.

Court artists sitting towards the front make quick work capturing the scene before them, sketching out the images that have come to define a trial in which TV cameras aren't allowed.

The words "In God we trust" are displayed on the wall above where the judge sits. Closer to the back of the room is a poster advising "How to respond to an active shooter".

But all eyes focus on Trump as he comes in and out of the court. At one point he smiles at a well-known American TV anchor sitting two seats away from me, a detail that's hurriedly filed into one of the many live blogs covering every minute development.

Once he's seated, he shifts between shuffling through notes on his desk, whispering to his lawyers, and staring straight ahead. Observers watch closely for any sign that he might have fallen asleep.

Unlike in his previous civil cases, the former president is required to attend every day of the trial in person.

But he was under no obligation to testify, and it's not surprising that he ultimately chose not to.

It's rare for a criminal defendant to do so, given it opens them up to a potentially damaging cross-examination by the prosecution.

Court photographers take Donald Trump's photo in court.

"Anything I did, anything I did in the past, they can bring everything up," Trump said when asked why he didn't testify.

And Trump's lawyers perhaps had another reason to advise against it, given the angry testimony he gave in his New York civil fraud trial, and in the defamation lawsuit brought by writer E Jean Carroll.

The fraud case was heard by a judge alone, while the defamation suit was before a jury.

Neither went Trump's way, and he has been ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

This time, the stakes are even higher. If convicted, he could face time in prison.

A rare Trump backdown over an apparent Nazi reference

Trump often complains that his criminal trial is keeping him off the campaign trail, with the former president largely limited to hallway press conferences and social media posts on the days he's in court.

But one of those posts drew the wrong sort of attention this week, after a video was published to his account referencing a "unified Reich" — terminology associated with Nazi Germany.

The video included hypothetical news headlines following a potential Trump victory, including "Economy booms!" and "Border is closed".

In smaller, slightly blurry font is a sentence about "industrial strength" driven by "the creation of a unified Reich".

The Associated Press reports the line appears to have been copied from a section of a Wikipedia entry.

And the video, according to The Atlantic , looks to have been based on an online template.

Trump's team has since taken down the post, insisting the video was created by a "random account" and re-posted by a staffer who didn't notice the wording.

But this isn't the first time Trump has been accused of echoing language used by the Nazis.

As pointed out by President Joe Biden, whose campaign has seized on the controversy, Trump has described his political opponents as "vermin" and accused some migrants of "poisoning the blood" of the United States.

"That's the language of Hitler's Germany, not an American president," Biden told a campaign reception in Boston.

"The threat Trump poses is greater his second time around than it was the first."

In case you missed it: Nikki Haley re-enters the chat

One vote Trump can count on is that of his former rival for the Republican nomination, Nikki Haley.

Haley described the former president as "unhinged" and "not qualified" to be president during their bitter primary battle.

And she declined to endorse him when she dropped out of the race in March, saying he needed to earn the support of those who'd backed her.

But after keeping a low profile in the months since, Haley resurfaced this week at a conservative think-tank and revealed she'd be voting for Trump in November.

"Trump has not been perfect on these policies; I have made that clear many, many times," she said, referring to issues such as immigration and the economy.

"But Biden has been a catastrophe."

It was hardly a ringing endorsement of Trump, and Haley went on to suggest that the former president hadn't yet done enough to convince her supporters to back him.

But her comments could be part of a much longer-term strategy.

While Trump recently rejected speculation that Haley might be in the mix for his running mate, the former United Nations ambassador has been talked up as a potential presidential contender in 2028.

A woman in a pink dress sits next to former president Donald Trump. The pair are looking at each other.

And given Trump's enormous influence over the Republican Party, Haley might have made the calculation that repairing bridges makes the most sense for her political future.

Some of her supporters, though, see it as a betrayal from someone who once vowed she felt no need to "kiss the ring" of the now-presumptive nominee.

"I donated to your campaign twice," said one of her followers on Instagram. "Such a disappointment."

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