We’re in Berchtesgaden for a couple of days. This is our fourth visit to the village of Berchtesgaden, though it is the first time we have stayed in the village itself. In prior visits, we stayed up on one of the mountains: twice in what was the Intercontinental resort and once at the zum Turken. The mountain locations are all within the area occupied by the Nazis and Hitler prior to and during WWII. With the exception of the Documentation Center museum up on the mountain, all vestiges of that era are gone, and Berchtesgaden remains what it has always been, a beautiful valley surrounded by tall mountains, deep forests, and glacial lakes.
Having never really explored the village itself, we thought we would stay down below.
Berchtesgaden is about a 90 minute drive from Munich , or 20 minutes from Salzburg. We’ve done both. Which you choose depends mostly where you are coming from. There is also a train station in Berchtesgaden, so you can take a train directly into town, if that’s where you want to be (really need a car to enjoy the sights).
View from the dining room of our hotel
Today, we will go up the Jenberbahn, a ski area of the Konigsee park. We’re not skiers, but there are plenty of people like us just going up for the view. Though it is late in the ski season, there’s still enough snow (real or artificial) to last a bit longer.
The panorama views today are really spectacular, with the weather so clear. It is always hit it or miss in the mountains when it comes to the weather. We were here two years ago, and it was overcast and drizzly, the other times have been much like today, with blue skies and mild temperatures.
The lift has an intermediate stop, but there is little to see there, go to the top! They also have a restaurant, where we enjoyed a little sunshine, fantastic views, and a bier.
After coming down from the lift, we went down to the Konigsee Lake, where a few years ago, we took the boat out on the lake to the Obsersee. Today though, we will just look out at the lake as there is something else we want to do. The water in the lake is clear. All of the boats that operate in this national park are electric. It’s quiet and because it’s low tourist season, not crowded.
While the snow was getting pretty thin up on the mountain where the Jenberbahn was, on the mountain where the Intercontinental (now Kempenski) is located, there is a lot more snow. We had planned to take a very high scenic drive through the mountains, but it seems closed for the snow. Driving on this mountain requires your full attention. The grade is about 24 degrees, and the road twists and turns, and isn’t particularly wide. I spend most of the time driving in second gear.
We walked up (and I do mean up) the mountain from our hotel to the Franziskanerkirche Kloster Berchtesgaden (Franciscan church). It’s steeple is visible from the main road of the village below. The church tower was built in 1682, but the choir area dates from 1300.
The old town is actually up on a mountain side, versus where you usually find it, near the train station). There is So much more to the village than you’d ever imagine, until you make your way up those narrow streets to the old town
The fountain in the square was erected in 1677.
To our complete surprise, there is also a royal palace in the old part of town, If we have time to explore it tomorrow, we may; it was too late in the day to be open.
Across from the Royal Palace was an arcade, with shops nestled in under each arch, with some lovely decorations.
All sorts of interesting shops, some of which are closed for the season, are in this area. The town hall is here as well, but singularly unimpressive compared to many others.
Hirschenhaus, built 1504.
Intriguing, but no indication of what it was beyond the address.
As night comes upon us, and camera batteries fail, it’s time to make our way back to the hotel
There is definitely a lot more here than you could imagine just by looking up from the main road along side the river. Those 9300 steps were well spent!
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