Commonly known as Hitler's Eagle’s Nest
The road leading up to the Kehlsteinhaus Restaurant is quite steep. It has been closed to regular traffic for many years. You can either walk up to the parking area or ride the special buses that take tourists to the parking area. The buses have a special transmission in them that allows them to make it up the steep mountain road.
When you arrive at the base of the mountain, you walk to a dark, damp tunnel that goes 400 feet into the side of the mountain. When you get to the end of the tunnel, there is a big brass elevator waiting to take you straight up through the mountain (406 feet) and into the Eagle's Nest above. Once you arrive, you see a red marble fireplace that was donated by Mussolini.
For the most part, the building you see today is fairly plain. There are no references to Adolf Hitler to be found anywhere. The Kehlsteinhaus restaurant serves typical German foods and is, of course, on the expensive side. Walking around outside, there is a path that extends up the back area of the house and ends up at a large cross. The views are stunning and Bavaria is visible, along with excellent views of Austria. It's an unbelievable house that was constructed as a 50th birthday gift for Hitler by Martin Bormann. The funny thing is that Hitler rarely went up there. And, when he did, it was for 30 minutes or so. He seemed to prefer other places over this incredibly expensive gift that cost the German people an obscene amount of money. It is said that because Hitler used the house so little, it was spared and not blown up like so many other Nazi residences after the war.
In the 13 months it took to build the house, 12 men lost their lives during the construction of the elevator system. The house and the elevator system is an engineering marvel. The elevator is still used to take tourists to the top. Imagine walking straight into the side of a mountain, through a damp 400 foot tunnel and then arriving at elevator doors in a large chamber. The 400 foot ride up through the center of the mountain in the spectacular brass elevator was smooth and a little eerie. Hitler actually rode in this elevator car so many years ago.
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