Berchtesgaden was founded in the 10th century, when a monastery was built here in the middle of the mountains and great hunting grounds. During the following centuries the monastery became a castle, and in the 19th century the Bavarian royal house Wittelsbachs turned it into their summer residence, which it still is. There is a museum in the castle and guided tours are organized.
You can get acquainted with the local history of Berchtesgaden in the local museum Adelsheim.
The salt mine of Berchtesgaden celebrated its 500th anniversary in 2017, and is still fully operational. You can explore the history of salt and salt mining through one of their one-hour long guided tours in the mine, or enjoy a three-hour relaxation or concert in the salt lake room inside the mine.
DOCUMENTATION MUSEUM AND EAGLE’S NEST
The rise and fall of National Socialism and the history of their secondary management centre during the second world war can be explored in the Documentation museum in Obersalzberg. The museum is open year around, but the nearby located Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) can be accessed from May to October depending on the snow conditions. Busses to Kehlsteinhaus leave from the Documentation museum.
BERCHTESGADEN NATURAL HERITAGE
Königssee – Enjoy the breathtaking scenery at the well-known mountain lake surrounded by hiking paths. There are electric boats crossing the lake. Halfway across the lake you will pass St. Bartholomä, Bartholomew’s Catholic Pilgrimage Church. Many hiking routes start from there, one popular one is the exceptional “Eiskapelle” ice formation.
At the end of Königssee boat ride you’ll arrive in Salet. From there it’s only a half an hour walk to the next lake, Obersee.
Wimbachklamm – Hiking path through a gorge between two mountain ranges.
Mountain cabins – Along many hiking paths there are mountain cabins with restaurants, where you can enjoy gorgeous views and tasty Bavarian food. Some of them make their own cheese with fresh milk from the cattle grazing on the mountains. The cabins are usually open from late May until mid-September.
Meditation path is a short 5-minute hike from Nonntal up to the tiny Chapel “Ponnzenzenbichl”
Mountain Watzmann can be seen from the windows of Burmesterhaus, and has many long hiking routes. Watzmann is the second highest mountain in Germany.
Untersberg is a mountain with many stories. It has been said to be the holy mountain of the Alps. If your legs are already tired from all the other hikes, you can get up with a cable car. Also, the only ice cave of German Alps is located at the top. You can also hike to the ice cave from Marktschellenberg, past the mountain cabin of Toni Lenz.
Rossfeld Panoramastraße – The highest road of Germany offers breathtaking views to Berchtesgaden and Salzburg.
The old saltwater pipe, where saltwater was transferred from Berchtesgaden to the neighbouring city of Bad Reichenhall can still be seen in parts of the Soleleitungsweg-path. The view to the center of Berchtesgaden is beautiful from there.