The road to Kehlsteinhaus, a teahouse for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday

The Kehlsteinhaus, also known as Eagle's Nest, is a chalet structure located in the state of Bavaria, Germany. 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.

Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest)

Where is the Kehlsteinhaus?

Situated high on the Obersalzberg Mountain in the Berchtesgaden Alps, the historical building is located in the southeastern part of the country.

What’s the Kehlsteinhaus?

The house was commissioned by Martin Bormann, a close associate of Adolf Hitler, as a 50th birthday gift for Hitler. The building was completed in 1938 and served as a retreat and meeting place for Nazi leaders to entertain visiting dignitaries. Although it was rarely used by Hitler himself, the Eagle's Nest became a symbol of the Third Reich and was visited by many high-ranking Nazi officials and foreign dignitaries during the Nazi regime. After World War II, the building was taken over by the German government and has since been converted into a restaurant and tourist attraction, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Can you drive to the Kehlsteinhaus?

The road to the structure is fully paved and called Kehlsteinstrasse. It ends at 1,685m (5,528ft) above sea level in a parking lot. Blasted out of solid rock in only 13 months, it is considered unique in its construction design. To reach the chalet, the last part must be done with an elevator. It's one of the highest roads in the country.

How long is the road to the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest)?

Starting at the Obersalzbergstraße, the road is 6.5km (4.03 miles) long and 4m (13ft) wide.

How steep is the road to the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest)?

The road is very steep, with a maximum gradient of 24% through some ramps. It has 5 tunnels and a height difference of 736m, with an average gradient of 11.32%. The road is considered a feat of engineering.

Is the road to the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest) open?

Achieving a great difference in elevation with only 5 hairpin turns and crossing the steep northwest side of the Kehlstein mountain twice, the road was closed to public traffic in 1952. Instead, a special mountain bus service was initiated. Due to the high elevation, the Eagle's Nest is open only in summer, usually from mid-May through October. Each spring, the rock walls of the Eagle’s Nest road are cleaned to prevent accidents from falling rocks caused by frost and snow during winter. Since 1952, these measures have ensured no accidents occur.
Pic: Klaus Schelbert