Eagle’s nest road

Eagle’s nest road

Street to the Hitler’s Eagle’s nest – a unique road with a special history

A street to a mountain-top restaurant can be nice and fascinating if you include a great view but sometimes a street can be a symbol to time. In this blog we will talk about the unique street leading up to the eagle’s nest on top of the mountain Kehlstein. It was Hitler’s eagle’s nest a tea house in the Bavarian Alps, that as given as a present by Martin Bormann to Hitler’s 50th birthday in the year 1939.

I will not tell you in the following a lot of details concerning political things and mythology behind this street and what happened in the third reich but more about this wonderful mountain road and why we can still see it and enjoy it.

on the angel's nest road

a fascinating road to the Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest

This road is not only a fascinating road in the mountains but it is also a symbol to this time before the second world war. In the year of 1936, Hitler wanted to expand his summer residence. Since it was not possible to finish it in time, he asked Martin Bormann to help him and that gave already the further steps to give to Bormann more rights and more power.

Martin Bormann decided to make something special to Hitler since he knew that Hitler loved this area. it did not only remind Hitler to his childhood but also he knew that something special needed to be done for Hitler’s birthday for his 50th anniversary.

The idea of Martin Bormann was it to build a house on the top of the Kehlstein so that Hitler could enjoy his area even better, take the views over all of the mountains of Berchtesgaden.

But why building up a house on the top of the mountain with a road that is very much exposed, built with 5 tunnels and one hairpin bend and for someone that is afraid of heights?

Well, simply: Hitler loved this area and since the possibility to do something for hitler was limited, therefore Martin Bormann decided to construct it on the top of the mountain because he saw hitler as being also on top of everything. Not only of the political party but also on the top of the world. This is the meaning behind the Hitler’s eagle’s nest and Martin Bormann did everything to realize his plans. He talked to investors, to financial advisors and then the final decision was made to construct it. The money came mostly from some “black accounts” (offshore accounts) because the construction of the road and the building on top the mountain costed over 156 Mio. €. But it was not only a simple construction. It was a masterpiece of engineering to construct this road and gave jobs to over 3.200 workers in the area for 13 months.

Hitler's eagle's nest

Still during the construction a lot of people were happy to have a job. In the region were more than 20% of the workers unemployed, or laid off. The people in the region were happy to work at this very bold project.

To build this road was not easy and very dangerous. Lots of people walked every day up to the mountain to build one small bridge, 5 tunnels and cut out the road by TNT, dynamite and hand-work. Helmets were not used very often and if it was raining it was even more dangerous to construct.

Some stories tell about people being tortured to work on this road and that prisoners had to help to construct this road and the eagle’s nest. As far as documents that have been found about this road, it is proofed that prisoners were only used to help to finish the building in time and during it’s operation during the war but never during the construction. Also nobody was killed or tortured to work on this project on purpose. Unfortunately there were accidents and people died during the construction of this project but mainly due to the fact that the workers did not protect themselves. 4 people died during a truck accident (a truck slipped down driving the road up wit 4 people in it an fell down for over 300ft.). The rest were either killed by falling rocks or that they fell down.

Still nowadays the road and the eagle’s nest can be visited. The road has been opened in the year 1952 to the public but immediately been regulated due to too much private cars. The community of Berchtesgaden contracted the local bavarian state bus company to organize public buses up to the eagle’s nest and one turn-out point was constructed to make the public transportation possible and save. The drivers are undertaking every year a special driving test and the buses are specially equipped (by a special transmission to avoid brake’s heat).

Every spring and during summer time regular checks of the mountain has to be done in order to avoid rocks falling on the road. In the winter time the road is closed to a high risk of avalanches.

The road is only opened to the public after all checks and clearings have been done. It is open always in the first half of the month of May until the End of October. Still even in the summer it can happen that the road has to be closed due to heavy rain, or snow and the safety for the passengers cannot be guaranteed.

tunnel to the eagle's nest elevator

Drive with us up to the Eagle’s nest and learn more about this spectacular place full of stories and history. We are looking forward to meet you here in Salzburg. Best regards and a good travel Be special tours!

 

150years Sachertorte

150years Sachertorte

The famous Sacher cake has been around already for over 150years

The history of the Sacher Torte starts with the order of Prince Metternich in the year 1832. He wanted his court kitchen to create a special dessert. “But don’t be a disgrace to me, tonight!” he said. Unfortunately – or in this case – luckily the chef was sick that night and so the 16-year-old apprentice Franz Sacher in the second year (1816 to 1907) got his chance. According to the high desire of Metternich Franz Sacher created the basic shape of the Sachertorte.

making of a Sachertorte

The cake was loved by all who tasted it. But the cake was not given any further attention. Years later – in 1848 –  a deli was opened by Franz Sacher in Vienna with a wine shop. His eldest son Edward (1843-1892) made his apprenticeship in the “Hofzuckerbäckerei” Demel (pastry of the Kaiser) and completed during his time at Demel the composition Sachertorte as we know it today. The Sachertorte was offered first by the Hofzuckerbäckerei Demel. Then Eduard founded in 1876 the Hotel Sacher and offered the cake of his ancestors and himself in the Hotel & Coffee Sacher.

package of a Sacher cake

In the years from 1938 to 1963 – with interruptions – the use of the trademark “Original Sacher-Torte” was controversial between Demel and Hotel Sacher. They agreed a settlement out of court. The Hotel Sacher was granted the right to use the name “Original Sacher-Torte” while Hofzuckerbäckerei Demel named their Sachertorte with a triangular official seal with the inscription “Eduard Sacher-Torte”.

Sacher menu in the cafe

The Sacher Torte at Hotel Sacher in Vienna the “Original Sacher-Torte” and the “Demel’s Sachertorte” differ mainly by their jam layers. The “Original Sacher-Torte” has two jam layers below the chocolate coating and in the middle of the dough while “Demel’s Sachertorte”, which is still produced in the Hofzuckerbäckerei Demel, has only one jam layer below the chocolate coating.

More about the history of the Sachertorte, different recipes, its importance for Vienna and the dispute between the Hotel Sacher and Demel Hofzuckerbäckerei you will find on several sites online.

Also for your attention the following article over the 150 years celebration of the famous Hotel Sacher in Vienna 2016! 150 Years Sacher Torte Salzburg

the Hotel Sacher of Salzburg

And of course! You will find the original Sacher-Torte in Salzburg and Vienna because here are the two Hotels located. Of course you will find in these locations the typical wooden boxes with the branding of the Sacher Torte and can buy it every where in the whole world at (Sacher Online Shop). If you love the taste of chocolate, you have to try the torte! And of course it is so typically for Austria like the Apfelstrudel or the Sound of Music Movie. Enjoy and taste it! Greetings from be special tours 🙂

260 years of Mozart in Salzburg

260 years of Mozart in Salzburg

Mozart’s birthday: 260 years

All the best! This is definitely a year of celebrations in Salzburg! Not only Salzburg’s 200 years in Austria, also 400 years Hellbrunn Palace celebrations and exhibitions AND of course 260 years’ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! 260 years ago, the musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, in the Getreidegasse. He also lived in the so called new town of Salzburg before he left to Vienna.

Happy birthday, Wolferl! Rock me Amadeus – Celebrate composer’s lifetime. This time we all celebrate it with gifts, candles or champagne. An important part of these festivals make the customs and traditions that have evolved over the decades. But how actually looked a typical celebration in Mozart’s lifetime in the year 1756?

Easter and Christmas tree in the 18th century

Easter and Christmas tree in the 18th century

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived in a time when most festivities were facing major changes, because the celebrations were increasingly romantic and sociable. A widely used celebration time in the 18th century was Easter. Even the Easter Bunny, the brightly painted and hidden the eggs, was already known. At the time, the hare was mainly a symbol of fertility and mindfulness. Until the late 18th century, it was also a common custom of the “Palm Donkey” must accompany the Easter procession: a decorated donkey, who carried the statue of Christ or were allowed to ride on the children.

statue of Mozart in Salzburg

The Christmas party was celebrated in Mozart’s lifetime already as a quiet evening with the family. Already in the 18th century they turned to Christmas trees and nativity scenes performed in their own homes. It symbolized a fir or a spruce in the home bringing life and hope. Unless it has been allowed from the family status, the children received presents from their parents.

Birthday celebration

Today’s birthday is a celebration that is very different all around the world. That was not always so. Until the 18th century, birthday celebrations were only reserved for higher social classes, the poorer ones were not able to afford the high costs. Even the musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was often in financial straits due to his way of life. An widespread tradition was to provide a cake with candles for the birthday child. The fire of the candles should originally drive away evil spirits and protect against misfortune or illness.

the mozart's birth room with personal items

Some of Mozart’s composements: Marriage of Figaro – Weddings at Mozart’s time

On August 4th, 1782 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart married at the age of 26 years Constanze Weber without parental approval. This was very unusual during these times. The wedding traditions were very different depending on the region where they were living as well as it is today. The festivities often lasted for several days and were committed with a sumptuous omitted wedding receptions and gifts. Also with a very well ornated bride, throwing a wedding bouquet and the giving of a dowry or trousseau. The marriage had a high priority in people’s lives and was particularly for women an important stage of life. Judging from the letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart after, the couple had a perfectly happy marriage. Constanze was a muse who inspired the composer Mozart in his work.

The focus is on the brilliant artist who escapes from a tyrannical-loving father and a family and social system of paternalism flees to unfold finally as a musician and a genius in music.

Mozart's signature

To remember him – Mozart Balls:

In honor of the composer genius the first Mozart Ball was done in 1890 – I am sure you remember the visit of Austria and the variety of different Mozart balls – of course – everyone is the first, the oldest, the orignal and so on. They are all unique compositions, which are known as theirs namesake as ambassadors of Austria, far beyond the borders of the country.

We definitely recommend to taste some of them and make your own choice which you like and take them with you home as a typical memory to Salzburg, Austria – b(e) specialtours!

Mozarttaler and Mozartballs

salt mines Bad Dürrnberg

salt mines Bad Dürrnberg

The Saltmines near Salzburg – Hallein

About 20 minutes away from the city of Salzburg you’ll find something very special in this area. Near Hallein, an old celtic city, you can visit the saltmine of Bad Dürrnberg. Right beside a small old celtic village (no we are not with asterix and obelix – that was in another part of Europe). Here on the mountain besides a sleepy church you can change your feeling and go back in time. Down under in the land of the minerals.

Salzwelten – salt mine Bad Duerrnberg

The Salinen Austria AG may be the oldest company in the world. Already 7000 years before the saltmines in Hallstatt were in use. As the Salinen Austria AG are still the only one allowed to take the salt out of the mountains, you can call them the oldest company.

Here on the Dürrnberg the actual entry ‘Obersteinbergstollen’ was opened in 1543. At the beginning you drive in with a train and the first meeting point with the prince archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau is 600 meters (ca. 1.800 ft.) in the mountain and 120m (360 ft.) under the earth. The mine has become Austria’s largest and the world’s oldest exhibition mine. Already in the 17th century visitors were authorized to see the salt mines.

a guided tour through the saltmines

The funniest thing for the kids will be the slide. Here you have the opportunity to use the same ways as the old miners centuries ago and have fun where they in former times had to do hard work.

saltmines with slide

The most impressive station will be for sure the salt lake which you’ll cross within the mine on a boat. Enjoy the feeling to ride a boat on 27% salt brine – more than the death sea – and enjoy the experience to be under day light. Go away from rain or fog outside and relax in a very well (natural) air conditioned area.

salt lake Salzburg

Of course, they have some surprises for you, which I will not mention here. Be sure, the guides are personal and individual and in english language you can enjoy the tour with funny correspondence without an audio guide. Best regards and a nice trip with Bespecialtours! See you in the mine!

 

The holy Rupert of Salzburg

The holy Rupert of Salzburg

The patron of Salzburg

Rupert was the first prince archbishop of Salzburg – he came into this area in the year 696 and founded here the first priest’s school at the monastery of St. Peter (Rupert School).

He was the one who founded the archbistum and also some important parts of the city of Salzburg. He is for example the patron of the saltmines in Bad Dürrnberg and he is still the patron of the Country Salzburg – his celebration day is the 24th of September and on this day you will find in the old town an annual fair especially for kids and traditional deployments of musicans and marksmen.

code of arms salzburg

Rupert or following old documents Hrodberti, Rudbert or Ruodpert, did not come to play a role in the race of the Franconian kings. He was at the time when King Childebert III. reigned in Austria, Bishop of Worms.

His pattern of life-like, which especially chastity, temperance and love excelled against the poor, gave him the reputation of holiness. The holy Rupert.

He built close to the Mönchsberg a church, to Peter consecrated, and a little monastery among other homes for the Clergy. Gradually, other buildings were constructed, and the number of new settlers increased gradually so that in a few years ascended a new city from the ruins Juvaviens which was named Salzburg.

Numerous new donations of Duke Theodo rewarded the pious zeal Rupert and enlarged its territory significantly, the population had been gradually increasing. He traveled therefore the intention to recruit new employees, according to Franken and brought from there twelve pious men, mostly priests and some monks to Salzburg. Armed with these new agents, Rupert went constantly around the country to strengthen the newly converted Christians in faith and they cheer for perseverance in the same.

dom

Rupert had a very special taste for monastic life and led a most edifying and virtuous conduct. When he saw approaching the end of his life, he called his messengers and disciples and held them a touching farewell speech in which he interpreted to them the duties of the clergy deeply fond.

He was buried in the church built by him to St. Peter, where his body remained until the times of the prince archbishop Virgilius.

rupert grave

Rupertikirtag

Rupertikirtag is a celebration fair of the sanctify the dome at St. Rupert’s Day in Salzburg. It is held every year around September 24, the feast of St. Rupert, for five days. Venue are the places in the center of Salzburg around the cathedral. The Rupertikirtag is one of the most traditional festivals in Austria and is visited annually by more than 100,000 people. So if you are planning to come to Salzburg in September, don’t miss this celebration! It is fun for youngsters and the older ones and you can taste a lot of delicious typical Austrian dishes and of course a lot of Beer! Celebration today – old archbishops – with fresh drinks and a lot of fun – be special tours!

rupertikirtag

200 years Salzburg in Austria

200 years Salzburg in Austria

Salzburg being part of Austria for 200 years

It may sound a bit special to you – but Salzburg was not always a part of Austria. In fact it is a relatively young region of Austria. Austria itself has 9 different regions with own government shared parts – Vienna, Salzburg, Tirol, Vorarlberg, Styria, Carinthia, Burgenland, Upper Austria and Lower Austria.

But also before Austria became the size we have actually in the heart of middle Europe there are a lot of things to know about. The Habsburg Empire before the first world war here in Europe is the origin of our nowadays Austria, but this was much bigger than the actual size.

I will not tell you in the following a lot of details concerning political things and year numbers in detail, but I will try to give you an good overview over the main important changes concerning our wonderful city Salzburg and the land Austria.

salzburg in the evening

200 years of Salzburg in Austria

Salzburg was for about 1100 years a self standing archbistum founded by the first priest, who came in the year 696 – Saint Rupert. It was not always easy to have as the ruler of a wonderful and rich area, where a lot of other monarchs wanted also to have a piece of, a catholic priest. As catholic priest our prince archbishops had also to follow the pope in Rome and not only playing in the political strategies of the empires in Europe during this long period of time.

For the political distance as self standing region they decided in 1606 to vote never a bavarian duke or a part of the Habsburger family as the prince archbishop of Salzburg.

Sometimes we also had two archbishops in town – perhaps you remember also in the history of Rome the had sometime two popes – the against pope. And also the saltmines in the area of the archbishop where a point of interest for some bavarian dukes. Of course, the salt was the white gold in this area, because it is necessary in this area to conserve everything and over all the times there were a big trade around the salt.

One of the worst times arrived in 1803 during the Napoleonic Wars – this french guy really tried to take over the whole continent. He came into Salzburg and took it over.

But also the Habsburger were interested in the former Archbistum Salzburg and so they took over regency of Salzburg and Berchtesgaden (wonderful area within Bavaria) in 1805. The following times were very confusing in this area and then the question of where Salzburg belonged was ultimately determined at the Viennese Congress. On the 1st May 1816 Salzburg became a part of the Austrian Empire.

the Habsburg flag

This year we have in the city of Salzburg a lot of special events for the 200 years celebration. In the Salzburg Museum’s the ‘Landesausstellung’ exhibition takes place and in the Museum of Modern, House of Natur and open air Freilichtmuseum are special exhibitions about this special event.

Many organisers of cultural events will be paying tribute to this event: The Salzburg Festival (22nd July – 31st August 2016) will be referencing historic events in the Ouverture spiritually. The theatrical performance will be emphasising the work of Thomas Bernhard.

The Mozarteum Foundation is staging its Festival DIALOGUE (30th November – 4th December 2016) in the declared context of ‘Borders’ in reference to events that have occurred since 1816. The Festival of folk cultures (8th – 10th July 2016) and the autumn of church music (28th October – 6th November 2016) are also dedicated to this theme.

So we are looking forward to meet you here in Salzburg – not only sound of music and mozart left their steps here – so make your own footprint in your memories in Austria. Best regards and a good travel Be Special Tours!