Berchtesgaden - beautiful town attracting kings, cruel dictators and normal tourists

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all town descriptions in German

Bavaria's treasure box of fairy tales and legends

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another good travel guide from Bavaria from my friend Helmut in Canada

In summer seasons or winter times the mountains of Bavaria are always fascinating most people. One trip with your personal airportshuttle of mine will bring you today in an area called the Ruperti-Corner.

There you will find Berchtesgaden, well known from thousands of different people. Let us see why: mountaineers know this town because there is the second of Germany's highest mountains, the Watzmann.

Vacationeers know that in Berchtesgaden they can have nearly everything for a relaxed holiday season and people with knowledge of history will name the town as a residence of kings, bishops and in the last century meeting point and domicile of world known cruel dictators, Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.

You have heard something but you don't know where Berchesgaden is located? It is easy to find and reach. You have two chances either your plane land on Salzburg airport, Austria, than it will be only about 25 kilometers far away. Or you got a direct flight to our nice Munich airport, from there I will need with my airportshuttle between two and three hours to reach that town, the distance is about 180 kilometers. We will take the highway A 8 Munich - Salzburg and the last exit before reaching the Austrian border lead us to Berchtesgaden in the Ruperti-Corner. This district is named by an old bishop of Salzburg as he got this area as a gift from the Bavarian Duke Theodo.

The marvellous town is spreaded over several hills and has nice green flats in his area. So you will not see too much walls or houses with one exception. Looking out of your hotel window you nearly can grip the mountains especially the Watzmann. He is 2713 meters high and has a very cruel history in the legends, I will tell you a little bit later in my tale part.

And there is another mountain, not so high, but very well known. The Obersalzberg, once residence of Adolf Hitler and meeting point with Mussolini and other politicians in these dark times of Germany. And on the mountain Kehlstein, near the Obersalzberg, only 900 meters more high, there is a beautiful viewing point, the Kehlsteinhaus, once named "Eagles Nest" by the American Army, because they all had heard about some huge "alpin castle of the Nazis". One of the biggest bluffs in these times.

Let us forget the old things, even the small rest of bunkers are not worth to talk about. But much more worth is the relaxing area of Berchtesgaden. The air is very good, no industrie smoke around, you have wonderful views on the Königssee (King's Lake) and the "Stone Ocean" - on this plateau in the mountains the German-Austrian border is running and the European Far-Walking-Way No. 4. But you will need a good condition and mountain supply to handle this area. Climbing hills is not everybody's favour. You can do nearly each kind of sports in Berchtesgaden.

Golfing, play tennis, go swim, drive boat on the Koenigssee, fishing, biking, walking, skiing in winter in all kinds of difficulties - everything is possible. For example, on 28th of may they have a Marathon-Run there.

Ok, sports is not your turn, you want relax and perhaps do something for your wellness? Berchtesgaden is one of the best places for that. The name of the mountain Obersalzberg is in translation " upper salt mountain". That explains a lot, right? In Berchtesgaden they had over 2000 years salt mines, first by the Celtics, than by the Romans and later the Bavarian dukes discovered new the richness of the ground. And salt is not only good for the food, it helps in several cases of sickness too.

You can cure with drinks, baths or by inhalations. People with asthma can get great help there, visits in the old salt mine are possible, interesting and healty (look at the pic). And in the free time between cure, dinner and night you can visit a lot of historical buildings and exhibitions or you go shopping. In Berchtesgaden you can find nice wood crafts pieces.

Trips to Salzburg or in the area will show you a lot of marvellous views, you never forget in your live. People who like history have a great exhibition about the desert in Rosenheim this year.

One legend of Berchtesgaden is also not forgotten although it must be older than some thousand years. The story of the mountain Watzmann and his family. If you are looking to the Alps, you see on right hand the Watzmann man, left hand a little smaller one, this is the Watzmann woman and between both seven smaller peaks, that are the Watzmann kids. And old people told:

King Watzmann and his family

Once upon a time in this area a king named Watzmann ruled. He, his wife and the seven children were cruel and their biggest fun was hunting and torture animals and people. They all like to see living creatures laying in their blood. One day the horns again opened the wild hunt. King Watzmann saw an old female sitting in front of a poor farmhouse with her grandchild on the knees. He pulls his horse on her to kill both with the horselegs. As they were laying for death on the ground, the farmer and his wife tried to pull her in the house. King Watzmann set the dogs on them. All four were laying in their blood and the whole king's family enjoyed this with laughing. In this moment the old female nearly death cryed: "King, you and your family have hearts of stone. May the Lord save our souls but you and your family should become stones." Said it and died. In the same moment the earth roared, fire came out of the ground and a big thunderstorm started. A few hours later the nature calmed down and the farm and the king's family were gone, but since that time the two big mountains with the seven smaller ones exist.

So, if you want help to punish this cruel king and his family, take a flight to Bavaria, drive with my airportshuttle from Munich airport Franz-Josef-Strauss to Berchtesgaden and kick the Watzmann with your shoes while walking on his body. Which nice accommodations they have you can receive by the tourist office or you visit the homepage of that town. It is a wonderful vacation area there, I always like driving in the Ruperti-Corner, you will like it too, believe me.

One last and another view to the Koenigssee (all pics from the tourist office of Berchtesgaden)

You are handicapt? No problem, in the Berchtesgaden region there is a company specialized for handicapt people too. If you are coming to Munich airport or even located in Munich you must not stand aside. The company "Krankentransport Aschauer" will pick you up, they have cars for wheel chairs too, and bring you in the marvellous region of King Watzmann and Berchtesgaden. Also day trips are available. For contact please click on the linked name.

Script by J.W.Lohfink, for any mistakes in spell or grammar I apologize as a precaution, corrections, questions or comments please mail to me.

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©®J.W.Lohfink

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