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Berchtesgaden

Berchtesgaden is a German municipality in the Bavarian Alps[?] with a population of around 9,000. It is located in the district of Berchtesgadener Land in Bavaria, close to the border with Austria, 30 km south of Salzburg and 180 km south-east of Munich. It is situated in the Berchtesgaden National Park[?].

Nearby to the south is the second highest in Germany, Mount Watzmann[?] (2713 m) and a lake called the Königssee[?] (5.2 km²). Also there is the Kehlstein[?] mountain (1835 m), at the top of which is the Kehlsteinhaus (sometimes called the "The Eagle's Nest"), offering remarkable views.

The area was historically noted for its salt mines, close by is the Obersalzberg[?] (literally upper salt mountain).

The site was appropriated by the Nazis for senior leaders to enjoy in the 1930s, one of Hitler's residences the Berg Hof[?] was there (demolished in 1953, ruins removed in 1996). A number of other relics of the Nazi era are in the area, the Kehlsteinhaus was build as a present for Hitler's 50th birthday and was only fortunately saved from being demolished post-war, the Gestapo HQ at Hotel Zum Turken, the remains of houses belonging to Goering, Speer and Bormann, a massive railway station, the Hotel Platterhof (renamed the General Walker Hotel, 1953 and demolished, 1999) and a number of bunkers and similar fortifications. Post-war the Nazi buildings were acquired by the US military and during the Cold War the area was a Armed Forces Recreation Center.

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