Trip Start Jul 04, 2011
Trip End Aug 04, 2011

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Monday, July 18, 2011

Our second day in Salzburg we went to Berchtesgaden, the home of most of the Nazi leadership and the location of the Eagle's Nest.

Berchtesgaden itself is a beautiful little town situated in the shadow of the Alps, of course it has a bit of a grim history. We saw the location of a lot of the original buildings but many were destroyed after they were captured by the Allies in 1945.  There are a few apartment buildings that are still standing and in use as well as some bunkers.

After touring the town and eating a traditional Bavarian lunch, we met up with our tour group and proceeded up the mountain.  Our first stop was a museum that talked about how the Nazi regime came into power and how their beliefs and policies brought such devastation around the world.  The museum itself was originally a Nazi hotel, a hospital near the end of the war, and finally after being captured by the Americans it was used as a military resort until the late 1990's.  When the location was returned to the Germans, they decided to tear down all but one building which was used for the museum.  Under the museum was a bunker that wasn't completed but there were plans to connect it to the intricate bunker system that ran throughout the mountain.

After the museum we took a steep bus ride up the mountain to the tunnel entrance of the Eagle's Nest.  From there you have to walk down a long tunnel that leads to the original highly polished brass elevator to the Eagle's Nest.

The Eagle's Nest itself is actually a restaurant.  It wasn't destroyed like the other buildings in the area because Hitler almost never visited there (only 14 times in total) and it had no military significance.  The Germans were allowed to save the building as long as they agreed never to turn it into a museum as it could become a shrine to Hitler, so it's remained a restaurant ever since.

The Eagle's Nest itself is 1834 meters high and you can actually exit the Eagle's Nest and out onto the mountain.  We walked around outside for a while and saw some amazing views, really the highlight of the tour.
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