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Nürnberg

Nürnberg

Nürnberg – the capital of ginger bread and toys

Nürnberg takes you back in time. The city of Nürnberg has a very long history dating back tom the time of the 11th century when it became an important city and since that time takes people back into their time: From being a village at the crossroads from north to south and east to west. Already from the beginning the city became the right to hold also markets and this lead also to get the right to print money and charging taxes. From a prosperous city with the right to elect the rulers of Bavaria this city was given over to the population of Nürnberg and even the fortress was sold in the 15th century to the community of Nürnberg. The former ruling house, called the Hohenzoller kept the title of dukes of Nürnberg until the year 1918. Due to the high quality of craftsmanship and the strategically position in the middle of Europe Nürnberg was very much liked by the rulers of the holy roman empire until the 30 years war during which the town was never taken over but due to a lot of damages and fights between the protestants and the catholics the area lost quite a lot of power and wealth. From there it became only a trading city in the middle of Europe. Only in the beginning of the 19th century Nürnberg became officially part of the Bavarian empire, after Napoleon restructured Europe and gave the are to the newly developed empire of Bavaria.

In the 19th.century the city of Nürnberg became the center of industrialization within the area of Bavaria. With the first operative railroad in Germany it strengthened again it’s importance. For the first ride, a British train driver on a British locomotive were used and due to the high risk of brain damage to the people of this high speed of 15mph no passengers were willing to join that ride but instead some beer barrels were used and after their arrival in the neighboring city of Fürth with a proofed taste of the beer the people agreed on building more railroad tracks in Germany. Nowadays Nürnberg is considered one of the biggest railroad centers in Germany for passengers and goods, including also one of the biggest repair center of the national railroad of Germany.

Especially in the second world war Nürnberg plaid a very important role for the Nazis. With the foundation of the zeppelin fields and the nazi party rally grounds the city plaid an important role in the propaganda of the nazi regime. The Nazis chose this area due to the strategically position in the middle go Europe and for the fact that is had the biggest train hub to bring as many people into the area of Nürnberg as possible. Nowadays it had one of the biggest and most important documentation center of Germany. Also the jewish question has been solved int he Nürnberg racial laws,established in the year 1935 in which the openings of new concentration camps and other killing methods were decided.

After the bombings in the second world war in which most of the surrounding area of Nürnberg was destroyed, also the Nazi war trials took place in the courtroom 600 in the court of Nürnberg. It was also the beginning of international war criminal trials and led to the foundation of the criminal trial in Den Haag in the Netherlands.

Nürnberg also took a major role in the German “Wirtschaftswunder” with companies like Siemens, Grundig, AEG, MAN, etc. still nowadays Nürnberg is one of the major industrial city in Bavaria.

Nuremberg old town with castle

Nürnberg is a fascinating city and also a very different one. One one hand you will see a city form the 16th century with huge city walls, old houses and new shops and then you can see the train museum in Nürnberg, as one of the most complex in Germany, can see the German National museum of Nürnberg where the most important artists, writers, etc will be shown and there is for sure to explore also the Toy museum in Nürnberg.

The toys used to play and still nowadays play an important role in Nürnberg since it has the biggest toy fair in Germany and is well known for all toy producers all around the world. Nürnberg’s highlight is definitely to see the toy museum and to explore historically and up to day toys.

Besides that you will see that the city of Nürnberg is at the official capital of ginger breads. Ginger bread can be found everywhere in the center and also most of the factories are around the city center of Nürnberg. The prices vary very much from hand-crafted ones to the very cheap industrial made ones. You will find the ginger bread in all different varieties, such as with sugar, with ginger or no, gluten-free, with different chocolates (dark, white, or milky one), in different forms and variations.

So you will see that there are many ways to explore the city of Nürnberg.

beautiful fountain of Nuremberg

Nürnberg reflect the Bavarian culture very well and offers all of the typically things of Bavaria: From beer halls, to old buildings, to Sausage kitchens and the world famous christmas market, the so called “Christkindlesmarket”, one of the oldest and most traditionally christmas market in Europe. It has nowadays more than 200 different sales stands and is one of the biggest in Bavaria. Each year it attract millions of visitors when a blond angel opens the market and sends a peace message to the world for a quiet and nice christmas time and the time to wait for the arrival of Jesus christ.

In Nürnberg you will find also one of the oldest receipts of the sausages. They even had a legal fight with the town of Regensburg about who has the better and older sausage. The question was solved by the fact that Regensburg had the oldest sausage kitchen and Nürnberg the oldest receipt. But you will have to try bot, to know which ones you prefer. The recipe is form the 15th century and is still made in the same way including the precise length between 7-9cm and a thickness of 15mm and as ingredients only pork meat, salt, marjoram and some other herbs. It is even copywrited nowadays by the european union as a unique item for that region.

Nuremberg main market square

Nürnberg heritage

Nürnberg is nowadays dealing very well wit its heritage and its history. The buildings of the second world war are still there and can be visited at any time. At the Nazi party rally grounds are nowadays a documentation center to inform people about what happened, why and making people aware that history should not be repeated. The old town of Nürnberg is also newly renovated and keeps now more and more the old buildings and combine as a perfect match old and new architecture and businesses.  But do not miss out to try one of the red beers and take the time to see also the surrounding city walls and the fortress of Nürnberg, where you can explore how well this city is set in it’s surrounding. Visit Nürnberg and learn a lot of this city – history and fascinating stories of medieval time, christmas and the second world war – Be Special Tours!

Nürnberg city tours and Nürnberg tour

If you want to enjoy some great time in Nürnberg, book a private tour to Nürnberg with B(e)special Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Munich, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable vans, enjoy a guided tour through the town of Nürnberg and continue a nice drive either through Germany, or Austria. So if you are planning to come to Nürnberg, or if you want to visit the city of Nürnberg and the romantic road coming from Salzburg then please do not miss a nice ride with b(e)special tours! 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! Enjoy the fascinating city of Nürnberg – Nürnberg and history – with fresh ideas, food and a lots of fun – Be Special Tours!

Dürnstein – Wachau

Dürnstein – Wachau

Dürnstein – the pearl of the Wachau Valley

Duernstein brings history alive. Some people say that this city shows a great story and shows the wealth of this region, like no other town. The Wachau valley is part of the UNESCO world heritage listed natural preserve in Europe. It is one of the oldest settlements in Austria, with a history of more than 30.000 years ago, when humans already seddled in this area. The Romans brought the wines to the region and since the end of the 1950ies the Wachau valley, is a protected wine region, with it’s own classifications for the wines. The wines are mostly white wines and are classified in 3 segments: The Steinfeder, Federspiel and the Smaragd (the most precious and most intense wine in this region). The Wachau Valley nowadays welcomes tourists form all over the world wit history, scenic valley and small villages with vineyards to welcome people from all over the world. One of the best ways to explore the valley is to take either one of the river cruises, or explore it in the most comfortable way, on one of our glass roofed vans, or the a bike ride through this valley and make occasionally stops in one of the nice villages. The Wachau valley starts with the beautiful town of Melk and it’s abbey, goes then by the town of Willendorf, where a 4 inch high figure from over 15.000 years ago has been found, to Spitz and to the pearl of the Wachau valley – Duernstein to the town of Krems. On the entry is one of the nicest abbeys – Melk and ends with an even more impressive abbey upon a hill – Göttweig.

In the center is located this highlight town of Dürnstein, with a ruin of a castle on the top of the village and a very impressive church in the center of the village: It is one of the few blue and white churches in Austria and the color comes from a Meissen porcelain color which the emperor wanted to copy.

This village is nowadays characterized by small and narrow streets, nice buildings and a very nice Danube promenade though the Danube curve and from where one of the nicest views of the Village of Dürnstein can be found. The original city wall and the medieval ruin of the castle make this village alive and shows how this village over the centuries developed. Nowadays in the village of Dürnstein some of the finest restaurants in Austria can be found. They make local cuisine and international cuisine into a harmony with the Wachau valley wines to a symphony. And Since the Danube has it’s own masterpiece of Music by Strauss (“on the blue Danube”), it shows how important this river was to the region. Unfortunately you will not find the Danube blue but you can follow Strausses’ footsteps by enjoying one or two bottles of excellent Wine from the Wachau valley and you will see the Danube blue as well.

So please enjoy the village of Dürnstein to the fullest and see how this village combines tradition of winemakers, good food, history and nature into one big symphony of joy and good times.

Dürnstein autmn

Above the city of Dürnstein you will find the ruins of the Dürnstein castle. Once upon a time a famous story has taken place there. Richard the Lionhearted traveled over land due to the fact that his ship was broke and he travelled also through the lands of the Habsburg’s dukes. Unfortunately he tried to pay in a pub with an english coin and his cover did not work any more. He and the duke of Austria were in a fight after Richard offended the Austrian Duke. Therefore he has been held in the castle of Dürnstein by the Habsburg duke of Leopold. He was the king of England and went in the 12century already for the third crusade. He was imprisoned nearby Vienna by Duke Leopold who accused him as being responsible of arranging the murder of his Cousin Conrad of Montferrat. Moreover Richard has personally offended Leopold by casting down his standard from the walls of Acre.

Richard the Lionheart’s helper and singer Blondel, as the legend tells us went through all the castles in the Habsburg’s empire and sang under all of them a song which only Richard the Lionhart and Blondel only knew and Richard the Lionhearted answered to the melody and the text. Due to this legend there is nowadays a hotel and restaurant Blondel in Dürnstein.

It is said that he tried to free his Emperor but only due to a payment of 23 tons of silver Richard the Lionhearted was really free and the money was used by the Duke of the holy roman empire.

It is said that the ransom was used to fortify the city of Vienna and reconstructing the city of Vienna, building the city of Friedberg, Hainburg and founded the mint of Vienna which is still in use, even if nowadays only at printing the Austrian euro coins and euro notes.

Besides those stories you can see this small village with less than 900 residents and the most important historical sights, like the court yard of the city hall. It shows an example of a mideval building, the Kremser gate one of the only existing city wall towers from the 15th century. In the west side you can visit some of the best examples of a medieval city houses and a church from the 13th century. the highlight of the visit will be a visit to the new castle/ palace. Built in the 17th century it is on the west side of the town, has two protective towers and with great windows over the Danube. In the 1960ies it was sold and transformed into a hotel which it is still nowadays with a great restaurant.

Another highlight is the abbey of the clariss, which was founded in the 13th century, until they died out in the 16th century. Nowadays it hosts the hotel Richard the Lionheart.

View within the village of Duernstein

Duernstein is nowadays seen as the “pearl of the Wachau” due to the history and as being in the middle of the Wachau Valley as one of the finest wine regions in Austria. After the second World war, especially within the German speaking area the town of Dürnstein was used to make many so called “home movies”. They were characterized to  see the nice vacation destination and praise the city of Dürnstein as an example of a “problem-free” vacation destination and with good wines, nice girls and nature the perfect relaxing point. This has not changed and is still one of the things that attract tourists from all over the world. The clean and preserved nature, combined with thousand years old vineyards will fascinate you as well and combined with history make this pearl even blessing and blooming and will bring you the Austrian culture of nature, history and wines closer and you will enjoy it to the fullest. Come and find out yourself and let the stress out of the Wachau valley and enjoy the nicest nature, combined with history and a very good glass of wine.

Duernstein view from the Danube

Dürnstein‘s heritage

Dürnstein is nowadays not only the heritage of it’s own history but also part of the UNESCO world heritage listed Wachau valley. You will see also throughout the village lots of history where you will find the story of Richard the Lion’s heart still alive and see what this British influence brought to the town. See the architecture style and the vineyards surrounding this town to see how sometimes a prestigious pice can influence an architecture and being a symbol for the whole region, like this church, being a symbol of this region. Do not miss out to try one of the local vines and take the time to see also the ruins of the castle and the Wachau valley – history and fascinating stories of old times, history, nature and vines – b(e)specialtours!

Dürnstein city tours and Dürnstein tour

If you want to enjoy some great time in Dürnstein, book a private tour to Dünstein with B(e)special Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Vienna, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable vans, enjoy a guided tour through the Wachau valley and continue a nice drive either through the Wachau valley, or Austria and see other castles and monastaries. So if you are planning to come to Dürnstein, or if you want to Visit the city of Dürnstein and the romantic road coming from Salzburg then please do not miss a nice ride with b(e)special tours! 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 Wine! Enjoy the fascinating city of Dürnstein – Dürnstein and history – with fresh ideas, food and a lots of fun – Be Special Tours!

Prague

Prague

Prague – the Capital of the Czech Republic

Prague is one of the most fascinating capital cities in Europe. It is well-known for recent revolutions and for historical people like Charles IV – the most famous ruler of the Bohemian empire. He constructed some of the most famous buildings – the Charle’s Bridge.

He was the one who was the first bohemian king to also become holy roman emperor. Born as Wenceslaus, from the house of Luxembourg, his reign was characterized by a transformation in the nature of the Empire and is remembered as the golden age of Bohemia. He also organized the single states of the empire into peace-keeping confederations. After him is named the Wencelslas’ square, the Charle’s bridge, the Charle’s University, Charle’s square, high gothic Prague castle and part of the St. Vitus Cathedral within the Prague Castle. – Every year on the 14th of May will be celebrated his birthday. Due to the 700th anniversary of Charle’s IV this year many museums make special exhibitions and in the Prague Castle the Crown jewels are exhibited for the whole summer and are only exhibited when a new president is elected or at such a special occasion, like this year.

charle's bridge with prague castle

Prague is a fascinating city. It is also a controversial city. On one hand the history, such as the Prague castle, the lesser town (a former nobel area and nowadays the artist area of Prague), The Charle’s Bridge, the old town (with it’s jewish quarter, the Franz Kafka museum, the Jan Huss monument, the old town hall with it’s astronomical clock) and the new town (with the Wencelsla’s square (location of the velvet revolution), the new city hall, the opera house and the location of the communism museum (located next to a casino and Mc Donald’s)).

Prague is nowadays more famous also among young people as a very vivid and cultural advanced city. People of the Czech republic do not declare their religion (over 70% of the people do not declare their religion) and therefore are very liberal and open-minded and not influenced by the church. Due to the fact that the money status is still lower than in most other EU countries a lot of young people come for the generous food standard and the famous Bohemian beers. Many people come to party, or to do one of the famous beer tours through Prague on the ship and throughout the bars of Prague.

Prague is nowadays to most of the people a very interesting city: full of history, good food and liberal place for artists.

in front of Prague's city hall

Prague is a fascinating city. Some of the most famous sights you will have to see are: The infant of Jesus of Prague with it’s many dresses, the St. Niclas church, the Charle’s bridge, the Prague Castle, the small eiffel towner, the Schönborn Palace and it’s gardens, the Astronomical clock, the powder tower, the new city wall and it’s opera house, the Wenclsle’s square, the national Gallery, stroll through the old town and the jewish quarter, the dancing houses. Learn more about some of the most famous personalities of Prague: Charle’s IV, Rudolph II, Jan Hus,  Franz Kafka and artists of the “Prague Spring”, Antonin Dvorak, Alfons Mucha, Robert and Felix Weltsch, Johannes Kepler and Martina Navratilova.

panoramic view from the prague castle

Prague’s heritage

Prague is nowadays not only the heritage of a more than 1200 years of history but also the city of art, culture and heritage of communism and art. In the national museum of Prague you can find nowadays one of the biggest art gallery of the world with pictures of Czech artists, as well as Monet, Gaugan, etc. Besides that you will have also the possibility to see some of the most outstanding artist of the bohemian crystal cutters, the story of the little mole and you have to taste the typical tchech food in one of the restaurants (in the summer with nice gardens) and get a touch of the Czech culture by walking along the Volga River in Prague and see all different age groups enjoying the city of Prague and enjoying the nature of Prague along the river. Visit Prague and learn a lot of Prague – history and fascinating stories of protest, joy and freedom – be special tours!

Prague city tours and Prague tour

If you want to enjoy some great days in Prague book a private tour to Prague with Be Special Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Prague, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable vans and continue a nice drive either to Vienna or Salzburg and extend it then to Hallstatt. So if you are planning to come to Prague, or if you want to Visit the city of Prague coming from  Salzburg the please do not miss a nice ride with b(e)special tours! It is fun for youngsters and the older ones and you can taste a lot of delicious typical Austrian and Bohemian dishes and of course a lot of Beer! Enjoy the fascinating city of Prague – Prague castle and history – with fresh ideas, food and a lot of fun – be special tours!

 

The Grossglockner Road

The Grossglockner Road

historical pass road to the Grossglockner

A street to the highest mountain in Austria can be nice and fascinating at the same time. It means a perfect combination of a great nature, an engineering peak to construct this road and a thrill of all the cars driving over that road and to “touch” the biggest glacier of Austria and see the biggest mountain of Austria 12.461ft. above the sea level.

I will not tell you in the following a lot of details concerning the circumstances but I can tell you that it was a great achievement to finish this road. The first car ever driving over this alpine road was in the year 1934. In the year 1935 the road was officially opened.

Pasterze

a fascinating road to the top of the Austrian Alps

This road is not only a fascinating road in the mountains but it is also a symbol of this time before the second world war. In the year of 1930, the time when Hitler became more and more powerful in Germany, Austria was in the middle of a depression, facing still the problems of the first world war and having an unemployment rate of 26%, the Austrian Government and the head of the region of Salzburg took a plan into reality to built an alpine road to give job to 3.200 employees and for the upcoming tourists that will come in the future. It became the symbol for the whole country of Austria, that it is possible to make an alpine road to the highest mountain of Austria and to built the highest mountain road within the Alps to be able to cross with a car. Not only it was also possible to realize this road within short time with limited resources but also it was show to the world that technical advantage is in Austria ad therefore the industry also hoped to get a new order plus.

In the year 1934 already, Mr. Franz Rehrl, the governor of Salzburg, Franz Wallack, the architecture drove with their Steyr 100 over the road, achieving the first alpine crossing in an automobile on a graded road.

The politicians at that time forced very much the automotive industry and therefore pushed as much as possible the construction of such a road and the upcoming automotive industry in the country as an opposite to the regime in the neighbor country of Germany.

In the year 1935, on the 3rd. August the road was officially opened to the public with an international automobile and motorcycle race over the Grossglockner alpine road.

With an initial estimate of 120.000 visitors per year, the planners have been confirmed already in the year of 1938 with a total visitors of 370.000 in 98.000 vehicles brought a new record. It took until the year of 1952 to come back to these numbers, when then 412.000 visitors in 91.000 vehicles passed this road. Nowadays over 1Mio. visitors in almost 300.000vehicles cross this road per year.

But why do the people come to this road and what makes this road so attractive for everyone? The road leads in very short time directly into the fascinating world of alpine culture and nature. Since the year of 1971 the Hochalpenstrasse and the area surrounding it is part of the national park “hohe Tauern” and the park rangers do several controls per day to make sure that the nature is keeping so much in shape so that everyone gets the same possibility to enjoy this nature and the outstanding mountains around this road.

From the Kaiser Franz Josephs height (named after the last Austrian ruler visited this place together with his wife in the year 1896) you can also take a breathtaking view to the Grossglockner, the Kleinglockner and the biggest glacier of Austria: Pasterze.

swarovski viewpoint

In the year 1936 and 1937 over 370 workers had to shuffle out this road. Since the year 1953 the so-called Wallack rotary plows fulfill the job. With 4 plows every year the road is going to be cleared and it is a fascinating event to see while they have to dig their way through 20 – 50 feet of snow covering the area and the road.

After this event in April, the nature slowly slowly awakes from its winter-sleep and the tourists can come. For beginning of May the road opens and the quietness in this area is over, when the mountain goats, the marmots, the flowers, the tourist, the bikers, the cyclists climb up this road and go down.

The road has been used many times in different sport’s events, such as the Giro d’italia and the bicycle mountain race of Austria and the mountain hiking race, the marathon race and different mountain races by bikes, trackers, sport’s cars and historical cars.

The road has also used by Ferdinand Porsche for his first test drives. Also the first VW beetle has been tested in the year 1937/1938 on the Grossglockner Alpine road. For this tradition you will see every year different car producers testing their cars (many times they are still covered to not realize which car is going to be tested) to make sure that also in extreme conditions in the alpine regions and to test the new brake systems on the 47 turns of this alpine road. It gives for these tests the perfect conditions.

If you think that you could always drive this smoothly over this road, I have to disappoint you. The road has only been asphalted in the middle of the 50ies and expanded to over 20ft. of wide. The final stage of finishing the road to nowadays outlook has been done in the year 1973. Since this year no piece of the road is with gravel.

Since the year 2015 the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse is also part of the UNESCO world heritage and has to fulfill therefore certain rules and certain conditions.

Every spring and during summer time regular checks of the mountain has to be done in order to avoid rocks falling on the road and to assure a perfect service at the road. Also helpers for cars that are overheating or where the brakes start to malfunction is always provided. It is open everyday from 6am until 8am, in the months of July and August until 9pm.

grossglockner road

Drive with us up to the Grossglockner and learn more about this spectacular place full of nature, engineering achievements and a spectacular nature. We are looking forward to meet you here in Salzburg. Best regards and a good travel Be Special Tours!

 

Troja Castle Prague

Troja Castle Prague

Chateau Troja in Prague

A chateau within a city is always nice. In this case it is not only a summer residence by some noble people of Prague but most probably one of the most fascinating places in Prague. Unknown by most of the tourists it is therefore a jewel and a great opportunity to see a highlight of Prague without crowded tourists. B(e)special Tours always searches for non-touristical traps to enjoy the city to the fullest.

A chateau like that looks more than a villa. It was built in the roman baroque stile. The name was given to the castle due to the mythological staircase in the garden side. Wenzel Adalbert von Sternberg got the inspiration to construct this castle during a visit in Rome and it’s suburb’s villas. So enjoy a trip to Rome within Prague.

Troja chateau in Prague

a fascinating artistic chateau in Prague

This chateau was not only a hideaway from the city center to the countryside but also an artistic place to enjoy and also to show off. Directly by the Chateau is not only a park as a roman park but also a vineyard to always have the perfect location for parties and a relaxing time. During the years of 1679-1685 the owner had this chateau built with a great park, very ornate terra-cotta vases and the direct views to baroque paintings within the chateau. In different places of the chateau it is decorated with heraldic motives and the family’s code of arms. The highlight of the outside decoration is the stone-cut staircase to the garden with mythological and allegorical motives .

The inside is with a lot of wall and ceiling frescos by the artists of Abraham Godyn, Francesco and Giovanni Machetti and Carpoforo Tencalla.

ceiling fresco of chateau Troja

The wall ceilings in the central room of the chateau are one of the most sample collections of baroque and illusorial paintings within the boheam countries. Abraham Godyn, painter from Antwerp, decorated the room in the years 1691-1697. He worked with tempera, instead of the usual fresco technique. This very well chosen technique let the possibilities to create more details and colors. In this room the reality of painting is perfectly expressed. From real life to fake tapestry, to illusorical architectures, as well as plastics and reliefs on the opposite side of the windows. All these scenes are a praise to the dynasty of the Habsburgs, the christianity and the occupation of the turks in Vienna 1683. All this was created according the visit of the king Leopold the 1st in Prague.

The rest of the ceilings were decorated by the end of the 17th. century by Carpoforo Tencalla, Francesco and Giovanni Francesco Marchetti and show different symbols, allegorical, scenes of the historical, mythological stories, bible stories and happenings, as well as exotically landscapes. A must to be seen.

Nowadays the Chateau of Troja host the collection of the czech art of the 19th. Century from the national gallery of Prague.

Every now and then musicians give a free concert in the park for everybody that wants to listen.

the Garden and view to Prague castle from Troja chateau

Drive with us to the Troja Castle and enjoy this spectacular place full of stories and history. We are looking forward to meet you here in Salzburg and enjoy a private tour to Prague and the czech republic. Best regards and a good travel Bespecialtours!

Berchtesgaden

Berchtesgaden

Berchtesgaden – The Bavarian Alps, nearby lakes and surrounded by fascinating mountains

Berchtesgaden is a city nearby Salzburg that shows you a hard-working mountain city that became world famous due to the location and the surrounding mountains with clear mountain water and perfectly preserved nature. Moreover it is not only the nature that attracts tourists but also handcrafted items and friendly people that know about their values to preserve their world and their traditions. Historically this town was inspired by it’s location with the salt and iron resources. On the other hand they are famous for the steep mountains that enable special plants to grow here that cannot be found easily in other areas.

The city of Berchtesgaden is also famous for the fact that some bavarian kings, used the location for their summer residence. Especially the lakes surrounded by the alps close to Berchtesgaden invited the kings and also artists during the 19th century. Due to the important role of Berchtesgaden in the second world war, when Hitler and the NSDAP created on the Obersalzberg their summer residences and the summer seat of their political party Berchtesgaden became famous all over the world. Severe decisions about persecution and peace had taken place there.

Even if in the second world war the area hosted almost all  of the Nazi leaders the city was very much preserved from any bombings. The area of Obersalzberg was severely damaged and nowadays the Obersalzberg offers a documentation center that give more information about the rise and fall of this right wing party and some more historically facts about the area, what happened and the reasons why the Nazis chose this area. It is also possible to visit parts of the bunker system that have been created there in the 1940ies.

In the year 1990 the region of Berchtesgaden has become a national park by the UNESCO. They have a free agreement with the alpine clubs that allow tourists and locals to visit preserved nature, clear water and mountains without any limits. It is the only national park in Germany. This national park was primarily established to preserve the nature, such as rare animals and plants in this area. Also agriculture has to be kept in a certain way in this area and industries have to make sure to fulfill all natural park regulations. Controversial was the establishment of the house of the mountains in which more interesting facts about the national park, the nature, the tourism, etc. are shown to educate and inform people. It was controversial because many people preferred to have it in another setting but since the building was empty the community of Berchtesgaden decided to use and adapt it.

Berchtesgaden main square

Berchtesgaden is the main city of the region Berchtesgadener Land.  The district of Berchtesgaden is in the south east part of Bavaria, the most south east state of Germany. It is located close to the Austrian border and was for a long time under the rule of the Salzburg Archbishop and other bavarian bishops. In the 19th century it became after lots of debates again part of Bavaria and this was also the start of tourism in this area. Nowadays tourism is the biggest income of Berchtesgaden. More than half of the obligatory social tax people are working directly or indirectly in the tourism business. Not only in the summer time when hikers, walkers and people that just want to enjoy the nature invade in this area but also in the winter time, when this area has fascinating skiing slopes, tracks for sledges and an even individual winter wonderland that attract tourists. Before christmas the Christmas market welcomes people with typically products, well known also across the territory of the Berchtesgaden land. In the winter time in the nearby Ruhpolding is the world cup for cross country skiing / biathlon held and at the Königssee each year the world cup for sledges and bob sledges in the ice tracks shows the importance of winter sports in this area. This area brings out lots of new sportive talents, also due to special sports’ schools in this area. In the summer time for thrill seekers the area holds climbing tracks, zip lines, summer toboggan runs on the tracks where in the winter sledges drive down and also wild water rafting and canyoning (a walk in wet suits through a canyon and its’ water).

In order to energize people in the winter or summer time, the area of Berchtesgaden welcomes you with nice places to relax, such as the thermal bath called “Watzmann Therme” in the city of Berchtesgaden, or the “Rupertus Therme” in Bad Reichenhall, or many spiritual and powerful nature places in the area. Also the numerous restaurants in the area of Berchtesgaden welcome you with lots of homemade meals and desserts and not to forget the most important thing in Bavaria: the beer! Beer is brewed directly in the brewery of Berchtesgaden, founded in the year 1645 and still an active brewery. Besides the beer, there is also the brewery of Grassl, founded already in the year 1692, to produce schnaps, liquors and brandies with natural ingredients from the area, such as herbs, roots of flowers, etc. But also natural non-alcoholic drinks are produced by the local farmers. It is the best to enjoy these beverages in one of the restaurants in the area of Berchtesgaden and this is the perfect opportunity to interact with locals. Trust me that even if sometimes some people seem to be closed, after some schnaps and beer everybody will be a very open and nice. 🙂 But I can tell you that the locals do not need to drink alcoholic beverages to open up and to be friendly, but just try to talk friendly to them and they will be even more friendly with you.

A must-see is the national park of Berchtesgaden. One of our suggestions is the area at Ramsau and the Hintersee lake as one of the most interesting parts of this national park. You will see crystal clear lakes, waterfalls, rivers and will enjoy the quietness of nature. Fishing is only allowed if you register in the local community and obtain a fishing card. In the eastern part of the Hintersee you will find the so called magical wood and as soon as you are walking through this wood on one of the well-maintained walking path, you understand the name of this forest. The floating water you hear, the nice trees on top of stones or also the magical paths inspire your fantasy.

Another highlight in the national park is the lake of Königssee (the king’s lake). It is placed between the Watzmann and the Jenner mountain and is famous for it’s echo and for it’s deep clear water. It is one of the deepest lakes in the area with over 620ft depth. There is also a famous village, called St. Bartholome: It consists of a smoking area for fish, a baroque church and a restaurant. The most appealing part is that you can only get there by an electrical boat. Another sight of St.  Bartholome is a 45 minutes hike to the “ice chapel” (a small cave in which you can see ice formations the whole year around).

King's lake

Berchtesgaden reflects its culture to the most. It is aware of the heritage and the historical importance that it played and the history is still present. From the time when it was founded in the 12th. century until today. The beginning of settlements in the area were hunters and fishermen already 4.000 years ago. The first proofed documents of a village go back to the 12th century when in Berchtesgaden an abbey was found. It was for many years under a church rule, even if the city of Berchtesgaden was partly owned by the Wittelsbach nobel family. Since the beginning of the 17th century it became part of Salzburg, again part of Bavaria and so on, till the 19th century when the region of Berchtesgaden was founded. Soon the Bavarian kings started to construct a summer residence in Berchtesgaden, especially King Luitpold used this area for hunting purposes. He also supported the region and villages. Nowadays many signs of his actings can still be found within this area. By the end of the 19th century the railway arrived to Berchtesgaden and a new number of tourists per season arrived. Nowadays Berchtesgaden is the smallest community in Germany with a main train station, that has been built up in this way to host the state visitors and VIP people during the Nazi regime. Also the number of painters and artists that were inspired by this region increased a lot at this time. The first bed and breakfast places and hotels were opened on the Obersalzberg, at that time a perfect area to enjoy the views to the mountains and nature. In the year 1923 Hitler visited for the first time the Obersalzberg and immediately fell in love with this region. After his take over of government in Germany the Nazi leaders declared the Obersalzberg as the Führer’s off limit’s area and people could only visit with a permit. In the year 1938, after a 13 months building time, the Eagle’s nest and it’s road was opened on the Kehlstein mountain as a present to Hitler’s 50th birthday. It is in the summer time still visible and the ride on the original road with special designed buses is a highlight for lots of visitors from all over the world. On the Obersalzberg you can still visit the area where Hitler’s house used to be, even if there are only some remains of walls but the documentation center will give you more inside information about the raise and fall of the Nazi regime and how the Nazis changed the Obersalzberg, also with their bunkers. It brings you closer what happened in this area with many historically facts.

Nowadays the region of Berchtesgaden welcomes everybody warmly, no matter of race, heritage, religious believe, etc. to have a nice time in this area. The area of Berchtesgaden offers also may attractions for all ages with nature, history and traditions. In the winter time skiing, sledging, walking, enjoying the snowy area and in the summer time water, high mountains, preserved nature and warm hearted welcomes by the people of this area.

Schlossplatz Berchtesgaden

Berchtesgaden‘s heritage

Berchtesgaden is nowadays not only the heritage of it’s own history but also a place that brings out new talents that get their inspiration from the traditions and landscape of the area. You can experience this at the local cuisines in the area and at many handcrafted products of this area. Art, tradition and innovation can be also found in some unexpected places like farmers and still some handmade workshops in this area. On of the examples that you will see is that shops, like a hat maker, and special tailors for leather trousers (Lederhosen) and Dirndls can still be found within the city of Berchtesgaden. For children very important the traditional wood toy story in the center of the city that still produces the traditional toys of this area. Visit Berchtesgaden and learn more of this city – history and fascinating stories of former times, beer and traditions – Be Special Tours!

Church of Ramsau

Berchtesgaden city tours and Berchtesgaden mountain tour

If you want to enjoy some great time in Berchtesgaden, book a private tour to Berchtesgaden with Be Special Tours from Salzburg, or arrive directly in Salzburg, enjoy a city tour with our comfortable vans, enjoy a guided tour through the town of Berchtesgaden and continue a nice drive through Bavaria and Austria. So if you are planning to come to Berchtesgaden, or if you want to visit the city of Berchtesgaden and the scenic mountains from Salzburg then please do not miss a nice ride with Be Special Tours ! It is fun for youngsters and the older ones and you can taste a lot of delicious typical Austrian and Bavarian dishes and of course the beer! Enjoy the fascinating city of Berchtesgaden – a place of history – but also with fresh ideas, food and a lots of fun.