Over the years a number of prospective visitors have contacted me with questions about the Kehlsteinhaus, and while there are some specific questions I have been unable to answer – such as day to day enquiries regarding weather conditions – I have tried to reply to most of these.
Below you will find some of the more common questions that have been asked. If you have a question that is not listed here, just it to me via the contact form and I will get back to you – note that more specific questions should best be addressed to the owners of the house, who can be contacted via their Facebook page.
Was the Kehlsteinhaus Hitler’s military headquarters?
The Kehlsteinhaus was planned as a mountaintop retreat for Adolf Hitler, and the intention was for it to be as far removed from a military headquarters as possible. This remained the case right until the end of the war, when it was used as a strategic station. By this time, many of the Nazi leaders had long left the Obersalzberg.
Did Hitler live at the Kehlsteinhaus, or “Eagle’s Nest”?
Hitler only visited the house on fourteen documented occasions, with these visits usually lasting no more than the course of a morning or afternoon. The study built for him was never occupied, and even the kitchens were never used. Hitler would instead live further down the mountain at the Berghof, which was damaged during the bombing raids at the end of the war and completely demolished afterwards.
Where have I seen Hitler at the Eagle’s Nest?
Apart from the few available archive photographs, the only time “Hitler” would have been seen at the Eagle’s Nest was in the television miniseries War and Remembrance, which showed fictitious scenes of the Nazi leader (played by Steven Berkoff) with a small gathering of advisors and generals. While these scenes were filmed at the Kehlsteinhaus and the captions on the miniseries describe the location as Eagle’s Nest, no such meetings actually took place at the location.
Hitler’s last visit to the Kehlsteinhaus was in 1940, when he entertained crown princess Marie-José, sister of King Leopold III of Belgium.
When is the Kehlsteinhaus open?
The Kehlsteinhaus is generally open from the second or third week of May until the middle of October, but at the beginning and end of the season there may be problems with the weather. The best time to visit is between July and August, but the downside of this is that it may be busier than usual due to the summer school holidays.
Is it possible to drive straight to the Kehlsteinhaus?
No. Only the designated buses (and authorised service and staff vehicles) are allowed to access the Kehlsteinstraße. All private vehicles should be parked at the Hintereck parking lot from where you can catch the bus.
Is it possible to enter the Kehlsteinhaus for free?
Yes, but this involves walking up to the summit and then onto the house using the designated footpaths. The elevator ride to the summit is covered by the cost of the bus ticket.
Does the Kehlsteinhaus offer guided tours?
No, but there are companies that offer comprehensive packages for the interested visitor. Eagles Nest Historical Tours (www.eagles-nest-historical-tours.com) offer a four-hour tour includes a driving tour of Obersalzberg, a general short history of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and the subsequent take-over and transformation of Obersalzberg, a short visit to the Documentation Centre, a detailed tour of the bunkers and an in-depth tour at the Eagle’s Nest itself.
Are there any reduced prices for the Kehlsteinhaus?
There are special-rate entrance charges for children between the ages of six and fourteen, but no reductions for senior citizens or students. There is also a small reduction for those with a Berchtesgaden-Königssee guest card (usually provided to visitors by hotels, guest houses and B&Bs in the region).
Are reservations required for bus journey?
Unless you are booking for a group of ten or more people, no. Tickets are allocated on a first come first served basis, so it is advisable to arrive early to tailor your visit as best as possible.
Does the Kehlsteinhaus have disabled/wheelchair access?
Yes and no. The buses are wheelchair friendly and are equipped with ramps, but some areas of the house are less well-equipped. While it is possible to access the main dining hall in a wheelchair, some of the other smaller rooms are connected only by stairs.
Are dogs allowed to be taken to the Kehlsteinhaus?
Yes, dogs are allowed to travel on the bus for no charge, but should be wearing a muzzle.