What’s so special about this tour?
Created by David and Christine Harper in 1990, this original and comprehensive tour covers the Eagle’s Nest, as well as Hitler’s former HQs compound, and only in 2022 (because the Documentation Center and Bunkers will be closed for renovation), includes a visit to the site of Hitler’s former home the Berghof (now a ruin). This history-intensive tour is conducted by professional guides who are accredited in Third Reich / WWII history and whose mother tongue is English. They conduct the tour in an objective and comprehensive manner, making the history of the area easily understandable to all.
What is the “Eagle’s Nest Historical Tour”?
Our four-hour, educational, 3-part tour emphasizes the historical significance of the whole mountain, not just the Eagle’s Nest teahouse.
1. Eagle’s Nest
You will board a specially equipped mountain bus for a breathtaking drive up the 6.5 km (4 mile) road with its 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. After an in-depth tour of the Eagle’s Nest (now a restaurant) you’ll have some free time to enjoy the views or refreshments.
2. Hitler’s Headquarters Compound
Aboard our private coach, your guide will take you on a driving tour around Obersalzberg, a small mountain community above Berchtesgaden. Here the history of the area’s takeover by the National Socialist Party and the transformation of the mountain into Hitler’s Southern Headquarters will be recounted. 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. The description of Obersalzberg and the importance of Hitler’s Berghof in world history will be made easy to understand with the use of original photographs.
3. Site of Hitler’s Former Home
Only in 2022 and 2023, due to the Documentation Center and Bunkers being closed for renovation work, our driving tour will include a visit to the location of Hitler’s former residence. Spending well over one-fourth of his twelve years in power at his “Berghof” as the estate was named, the National Socialist Party’s effective propaganda apparatus made use of Hitler’s move to the Obersalzberg mountain to present him as a gentleman farmer whose Wahlheimat (chosen homeland) was Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps.
On one hand, the repeated focus on the Führer’s presence on the mountain lent him the German roots that he did not possess, on the other, it created an image of Germany’s future leader as a man living close to the common people in an idyllic alpine countryside. Hitler and his home on the Obersalzberg provided a subsequent mass-merchandizing of the politician as an allegedly friendly and hospitable man who made time to receive and welcome hordes of German admirers and followers.
Photos of these large pilgrimage-like events, as well as postcards and picture-books of Hitler relaxing with, and entertaining, his associates such as Goebbels, Göring, Speer and Bormann, were widely distributed in an effort to create a Hitler myth. This “superstar” spotlighting was extraordinarily successful in contributing to Hitler’s popularity both before and after his rise to power.
However, it was also at this alpine retreat – the Berghof – that many of Hitler’s sinister plans were forged, leading to war and genocide. In 2022 our daily tour of the “Eagle’s Nest” will include a short visit to Hitler’s former estate, the only property he personally owned. Though the building itself was destroyed by bombing and later demolished, our guides, with the help of photographs, recreate the Berghof’s former appearance and offer an in-depth narrative to outline the significant role Hitler’s former estate played in world history.
Times & Prices
The Eagle’s Nest Historical Tour is offered daily at 1:15 p.m., departing from our office at the Berggasthof Obersalzberg restaurant on Obersalzberg above Berchtesgaden (Germany). It operates when the Eagle’s Nest is open, (usually from mid-May through October, weather permitting) and lasts approximately four hours. The price of the tour in 2022 is 67€ per person (active duty military, students and seniors 65 and over qualify for a 3€ discount) and 45€ for children from 8 through 14 years of age (due to the intense historical focus of this tour we do not accept bookings for children under 8). The price includes all entrance fees and transportation. As our tours are limited in size, it is advisable to book in advance.
How much walking is involved?
– Walk through tunnel (406 ft / 124m) for elevator ride into the Eagle’s Nest
– Tour of building (about 20 steps
Limited Mobility and Wheelchair Access
Those with limited mobility may prefer to book a private tour with us where we can tailor the program to a slower pace and reduce the number of stairs if need be.
Unfortunately, the public 4 hour Eagle’s Nest Historical Tour is not possible with a wheelchair because:
The local coach company that we contract for our tours has no wheelchair ramps in their buses and our tour participants need to climb up the 3 or 4 steps to get into the bus.
The Eagle’s Nest mountain buses have wheelchair ramps, however up at the Eagle’s Nest our tour participants need to go down two different flights of stairs to get into the main rooms of the building and climb back up them as well.
Is this tour suitable for children?
We are sorry that we no longer accept children under 8 years old on the four-hour version of the tour.
We, as parents, find that the four-hour history-intensive tour that we offer is tough on a young child’s patience. It starts with a half-hour drive during which the narrative covers Hitler’s life and rise to power. The tour then includes the bunker and Third Reich Museum. The Eagle’s Nest portion is also quite intensive in our description of the construction and use of the building and the final part of the tour goes into the details of the deaths of Hitler and five of his cronies.
It is our experience that parents spend half their time trying to keep their babies and young children quiet for nearly four hours, rather than enjoying the tour.
An alternative would be to either book a private tour or visit the sites on you own. You simply take the Eagle’s Nest mountain bus from the Eagle’s Nest bus departure point (address: Salzbergstr. 41 Berchtesgaden Germany). Buses depart every 25 minutes and you do not require advance reservation.