- Zweckverband Bergerlebnis Berchtesgaden
- Maximilianstraße 9
- 83471 Berchtesgaden - Germany
- [email protected]
Berchtesgaden is a town located in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany. It has a rich and fascinating history that spans several centuries. Here's an overview of the history of Berchtesgaden:
Early History: The area around Berchtesgaden has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The town's name is derived from the Old High German words "berch," meaning mountain, and "tesigin," meaning estate. The region was initially settled by Celtic tribes, and later became part of the Roman Empire.
Monastic Beginnings: In the 6th century, the area came under the influence of St. Severus, a missionary from Italy. He founded a monastery on the site of the present-day Berchtesgaden, establishing the region as a center of Christianity. The monastery flourished and played a significant role in the region's development.
Prince-Bishopric of Salzburg: During the Middle Ages, Berchtesgaden came under the control of the Prince-Bishopric of Salzburg, a powerful ecclesiastical state. The bishops of Salzburg ruled over the town and surrounding territories for several centuries, promoting its economic and cultural growth. The Prince-Bishops also turned Berchtesgaden into a popular pilgrimage site.
Expansion of the Territory: Over time, the Prince-Bishopric of Salzburg expanded its territories, including Berchtesgaden. The region witnessed the construction of magnificent castles, such as the Hohenwerfen Castle, and the development of mining and salt industries, which brought wealth and prosperity to the area.
Secularization and Annexation: In the early 19th century, during the Napoleonic Wars, the Prince-Bishopric of Salzburg was secularized and eventually dissolved. In 1810, Berchtesgaden and its surrounding territories became part of the Kingdom of Bavaria, under the rule of King Maximilian I Joseph. Bavaria's annexation led to changes in governance and administration, but the region continued to attract visitors due to its natural beauty.
Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich: Berchtesgaden gained international attention during the Nazi era due to Adolf Hitler's association with the town. Hitler purchased a residence in the nearby Obersalzberg area, where he spent significant time during his tenure as the Nazi leader. The area around Berchtesgaden became a restricted zone, with the construction of the Eagle's Nest, a mountain retreat built for Hitler. The end of World War II brought an end to Hitler's presence in the area.
Modern Era: After World War II, Berchtesgaden experienced a period of reconstruction and rejuvenation. The town regained its popularity as a tourist destination, attracting visitors with its stunning Alpine landscapes and historical sites. Today, Berchtesgaden is known for its natural beauty, outdoor recreational activities, and its historical significance.
Berchtesgaden's history is a unique blend of religious, political, and cultural influences. From its humble beginnings as a monastic settlement to its association with Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, the town has witnessed significant events that have shaped its identity and attracted visitors from around the world.
Top Tourist Attractions
Berchtesgaden is a popular tourist destination known for its breathtaking natural landscapes, historical sites, and cultural attractions. Here are some of the top tourist attractions:
- Berchtesgaden National Park: Covering an area of 210 square kilometers (81 square miles), the Berchtesgaden National Park is a paradise for nature lovers. It features stunning Alpine scenery, including majestic mountains, pristine lakes, dense forests, and rare wildlife. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, guided tours, and educational programs to explore the park's natural wonders.
- Königssee: Located within the Berchtesgaden National Park, Königssee is a picturesque lake renowned for its crystal-clear turquoise waters. The lake is surrounded by towering mountains and offers scenic boat rides, allowing visitors to admire the awe-inspiring landscape. One of the highlights is the St. Bartholomew's Church, a charming chapel situated on the lakeshore.
- Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus): The Eagle's Nest is a historical site perched on top of the Kehlstein Mountain near Berchtesgaden. It was a teahouse and former retreat used by Adolf Hitler. Visitors can reach the Eagle's Nest via a specially designed bus and then an elevator. From the summit, there are panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
- Berchtesgaden Salt Mine: Berchtesgaden has a long history of salt mining, and the Berchtesgaden Salt Mine offers an intriguing glimpse into this ancient industry. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the underground mines, learn about the mining techniques, and discover the importance of salt throughout history.
- Dokumentation Obersalzberg: This historical documentation center provides insight into the history of the Obersalzberg area and its association with Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Exhibitions, photographs, and multimedia presentations offer a comprehensive overview of the area's significance during the Nazi era.
- Watzmann Mountain: The Watzmann is one of the most iconic mountains in the Bavarian Alps. It is known for its distinctive jagged peaks and is a popular destination for hikers and climbers. The Watzmann offers various hiking trails of varying difficulty levels, providing stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.
- Berchtesgaden Old Town: The charming Old Town of Berchtesgaden is worth exploring with its well-preserved historic buildings, narrow streets, and traditional Bavarian architecture. It is home to shops, cafes, and restaurants, allowing visitors to experience the local culture and cuisine.
- Jennerbahn Cable Car: The Jennerbahn cable car takes visitors up to the Jenner Mountain, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Berchtesgaden National Park and the surrounding Alps. It is an ideal spot for hiking, skiing, and enjoying outdoor activities.
These are just a few of the many attractions that Berchtesgaden has to offer. Whether you're interested in natural beauty, history, or outdoor adventures, the town provides a diverse range of experiences for visitors to enjoy.
Berchtesgaden has a temperate alpine climate, characterized by cool summers and cold winters. Here are some details about the climate in Berchtesgaden:
- Summer (June to August): Summers in Berchtesgaden are mild and generally pleasant. The average daytime temperatures range from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F), although temperatures can occasionally reach higher levels. It's a great time for outdoor activities, such as hiking and exploring the national park. However, it's worth noting that weather conditions in the mountains can change quickly, and rain showers are common during the summer months.
- Autumn (September to November): Autumn brings cooler temperatures to Berchtesgaden. In September, the weather is still relatively mild with average temperatures around 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F). As the season progresses, temperatures gradually decrease, and by November, daytime temperatures can range from 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 50°F). It's a beautiful time to visit, as the foliage begins to change colors, creating a stunning autumnal landscape.
- Winter (December to February): Winters in Berchtesgaden are cold, and the region experiences significant snowfall. Average daytime temperatures range from -3°C to 3°C (27°F to 37°F), although temperatures can drop below freezing, especially at higher elevations. The town and surrounding mountains become a winter wonderland, attracting visitors for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports activities.
- Spring (March to May): Spring in Berchtesgaden is characterized by gradually rising temperatures and the melting of snow. March can still be cold, with temperatures ranging from 1°C to 7°C (34°F to 45°F), but by May, daytime temperatures can reach 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F). It's a beautiful time to visit, as the region blooms with colorful flowers, and the hiking trails become accessible as the snow melts.
It's important to note that weather conditions in mountainous areas like Berchtesgaden can be unpredictable, and temperatures can vary significantly depending on elevation. It's advisable to check the weather forecast and pack appropriate clothing when visiting, especially if planning outdoor activities.
It lies in the heart of the Bavarian Alps, near the border with Austria. Here are some key details about the geography of Berchtesgaden:
- Mountainous Region: Berchtesgaden is situated in a mountainous area, with the Berchtesgaden Alps dominating the landscape. The town is surrounded by towering peaks, including the Watzmann, which is the third highest mountain in Germany. The rugged and picturesque mountains provide a stunning backdrop to the town.
- Berchtesgaden National Park: The town is part of the Berchtesgaden National Park, which is a protected area known for its pristine natural beauty. The park covers an area of 210 square kilometers (81 square miles) and encompasses mountains, valleys, forests, and lakes. It offers diverse ecosystems and is home to rare wildlife species.
- Königssee: One of the prominent features of the area is the Königssee, a glacial lake located near Berchtesgaden. It is surrounded by steep rock walls and is known for its emerald-green, crystal-clear waters. The lake is nestled within the mountains and offers stunning views and recreational activities like boating and hiking.
- Salt Deposits: Berchtesgaden has a history of salt mining dating back centuries. The region has rich salt deposits, which were exploited for economic purposes. The Berchtesgaden Salt Mine allows visitors to explore the underground mines and learn about the history of salt mining in the area.
- Obersalzberg: Obersalzberg is a prominent plateau above Berchtesgaden and has historical significance. During the Nazi era, Adolf Hitler had a residence in Obersalzberg, and the area served as a retreat for high-ranking Nazi officials. Today, it is a place of remembrance and houses the Dokumentation Obersalzberg, a museum documenting the history of the site.
The geography of Berchtesgaden is characterized by its mountainous terrain, stunning alpine landscapes, and natural attractions. The combination of mountains, lakes, and forests makes it a popular destination for outdoor activities and nature enthusiasts.