The Kehlsteinhaus, or the 'Eagle's Nest', is a chalet-style building, built by the Nazis as a fiftieth birthday present for Adolf Hitler. It was designed to be a secure retreat, and a place for him to entertain visiting dignitaries. The retreat was certainly secure; it is reached by a spectacular road and then a granite tunnel, bored through the mountain. The last 124 m (407 ft) up to the Eagle's Nest are reached by a lift, furnished with polished brass, Venetian mirrors and green leather. Yet the Eagle's Nest's other main function was largely unfulfilled; Hitler rarely even visited, let alone welcomed state visitors here.
One of the most significant events to have taken place here was the wedding of Eva Braun's sister in June 1944. In May 1945, the building was captured by Allied forces, who continued to use it as a military post after the war, handing it back to Bavaria in 1960. It was decided that as Hitler had spent so little time at the Eagle's Nest, it would be safe to retain the building, provided it was never used to glorify the actions of the Nazis. It is used primarily as a restaurant today, though it is still open and serving as a reminder of Hitler, his regime and the horror of war.
Wonderful views over the stunning Lake Zell forms the backdrop of this fascinating Zell am See rail tour. From our base in the heart of the Austrian Alps, we explore Salzburg and Hitler's mountain retreat at The Eagle's Nest.… see more
9 days from £2,175 ppView tour details >