Situated 1834m above sea level in one of the most strikingly beautiful locations in Germany if not Europe, the Kehlsteinhaus, also known to many as the "Eagle's Nest", is a building steeped in history. Commissioned by Reichsleiter Martin Bormann as a fiftieth birthday present for National Socialist leader Adolf Hitler, the Teehaus perched at the summit of the Kehlstein mountain in the Bavarian Alps has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern Germany.
Created with materials from all over Germany, the Kehlsteinhaus project made use of the best architects, engineers and workers from across the country, and was to cost some thirty million Reichsmarks to construct, a figure that would amount to an amazing three-hundred million DM (around £100 million) today. It is reached via the serpent-like Kehlsteinstraße, one of the most magnificent mountain roads in the world and a work of engineering that is in the opinion of a number of experts years ahead of its time. It took some thirteen months to build, and is six and a half kilometres long.
Although the house was ostensibly built as a quiet retreat for Hitler - it was merely a short drive from his more regular Obersalzberg residence, the Berghof - the Nazi leader was only to pay a handful of visits, mainly due to his aversion to the rarefied air and his fear of heights. It is perhaps because of this lack of interest shown by the Führer that the Teehaus on the Kehlstein mountain was spared the rather ignominious fate suffered by the Berghof and other properties further down the mountain; today the house is home to a fine restaurant serving the finest traditional Bavarian fare, and is the target of hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the globe.
Due to its being having been commissioned by the Nazi leadership, it will never be possible to separate the Kehlsteinhaus from its bitter historical legacy. However, with more than sixty years having passed since the end of the war and with new friendships having been made, it stands to reason that the Kehlsteinhaus should not be examined from this blinkered angle alone. The house no longer stands as an icon for National Socialism, and has not done so for over half a century. It is indeed somewhat arguable that it was ever really seen as such.
The information contained within this site is for historical purposes only, and is not aligned with any political persuasion or agenda; the comments contained herein are those of the author of this site. The official site of the Eagle's Nest can be found at www.eagles-nest.de.
This site is currently undergoing some changes, and should be launched in time with the reopening of the Kehlsteinhaus in May. The new design will be fresher and contain a lot more content, including a far larger selection of photographs from the author's last visit in the Summer of 2011. Watch this space!
Rick D. Joshua