Nestled snugly between the Berchtesgaden Alps is the Königsee, Germany's third deepest lake formed by glaciers in the Jurrasic Rift during the last ice age. The lake is more like a fiord in Norway due to the steep mountains surrounding it that rise up to nearly 9,000 feet.
A couple of unfortunate historical events were located near this lake. In 1944 a sub camp of the Dachau concentration camp was located nearby where Heinrich Himmler had a home built for his mistress Hedwig Potthast. Also, it is close to the "Eagle's Nest" the site of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun's suicide at the end of World War II. Despite such infamous surroundings, Königsee is better known for it's crystal clear water. It is advertised as the cleanest lake in Germany.
This is largely due to the fact that the German's have only allowed battery powered driven passenger ships, row boats, and pedal boats on the lake since 1909. Because it is located in such a way that it is surrounded by mountains, it is also known for it's clear echo. Back in the early 1900's the boat captains would fire a cannon so the passengers could hear the echo repeated up to seven times. Today, the captain will play a flugelhorn or trumpet and you will hear the notes echo-echo-echo.
St. Bartholomi, a small pilgrim church, is on a penninsula on the western lakeshore. It has a small fishery and a restaurant with a beer garden. Hubby and I had a traditional schnitzel and pomme frittes (French fies) in the beer garden. Of course, we washed it down with a tasty helles
You can see the beergarden (barely) under the trees that are just beginning to bud as springtime arrives in Bavaria. The church, with the red roof and towers, faces the lake and we are looking at the rear, or back of the church in this photo. There is no lakeside path around the Königsee because of the surrounding high mountains. You can only reach the southern edge by boat or the hiking trails up in the surrounding mountains.
Since there is very little, if any, habitation in and around the lake, it is exceptionally quiet and peaceful. There are a few small hotels in the municipality of Schönau am Königsee just south of Bertchesgaden, but that is about all in the way of a community. It would be the perfect getaway if you were in the mood to connect with nature, row, hike, or just kick back and enjoy the scenery.
We highly recommend the schnitzel and what's not to like about German beer? Soon the tree arbor will be filled out and plenty of shade will be on hand for the diners who visit this summer. During our visit the termperature was in the high 70's and we were delighted to soak up those rays.
Königsee, it doesn't get more peaceful than this....