The Kehlsteinhaus, also known as Eagle's Nest, is a chalet structure located in the Berchtesgaden Alps, in the German state of Bavaria. It was built as a teahouse for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday. In 1952 the Eagle’s Nest road was closed to public traffic and a special mountain bus service was put into operation.
The house, which was used as a retreat, and a place for him to entertain visiting dignitaries, is located at an elevation of 1.834 m (6,017 ft) above the sea level. To reach the chalet, the last part must be done by elevator. But the road to the foot of the mountain is called Kehlsteinstrasse. It's a very steep drive, with a maximum gradient of 24%. It's one of the highest mountain roads of the country.
The Kehlsteinstrasse is asphalted and very steep. It’s 6.5km long and 4m wide. It has 5 tunnels and the difference in height is 700 m. The road is considered a feat of engineering. The road was blasted out of solid rock in only 13 months time and is considered to be unique in this construction design.
The road encompasses miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades. The great difference in elevation is achieved with only one switchback and crosses the steep northwest side of the Kehlstein mountain twice. In 1952 the Eagle’s Nest road was closed to public traffic and a special mountain bus service was put into operation.
Check weather forecasts before leaving home, and remember that it becomes cooler and often more prone to storms at higher elevations. Through the frost and snow of winter, the rock walls of the Eagle’s Nest road are damaged from falling rock from above, therefore every spring the walls are "cleaned" and since 1952 have insured that no accidents have occurred. Due to its high elevation the Eagle's Nest is open in summer only, usually from about mid-May through October.
Pic: Mark Dickeson