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Berchtesgaden in BGL.png

Berchtesgaden (German pronunciation: [bɛʁçtəzˈɡaːdən]) is a municipality in the German Bavarian Alps. It is located in the south district of Berchtesgadener Land in Bavaria, near the border with Austria, some 30 km south of Salzburg and 180 km southeast of Munich. It is situated north of the Nationalpark Berchtesgaden.

Berchtesgaden is often associated with the Mount Watzmann, at 2713 m the third-highest mountain in Germany (after Zugspitze and Hochwanner), which is renowned in the rock climbing community for its Ostwand (East Face), and a deep glacial lake by the name of Königssee (5.2 km²). Another notable peak is the Kehlstein mountain (1835 m) with its Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest), which offers spectacular views to its visitors.

Berchtesgaden's neighbouring towns are Bischofswiesen, Marktschellenberg, Ramsau and Schönau am Königssee.



First historical note dates back to 1102 and it mentions the area because of its rich salt deposits. Much of Berchtesgaden's wealth has been derived from its salt mines. The town served as independent Fürstpropstei until the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss in 1803. During the Napoleonic wars, Berchtesgaden changed hands a few times, such as in 1805 under the Treaty of Pressburg, when the area was ceded to Austria. Salzburg was always interested in Berchtesgaden[citation needed], and French troops occupied the area a short time.[citation needed] Berchtesgaden came under Bavarian rule in 1810 and became instantly popular with the Bavarian royal family, which often visited Königssee and maintained a royal hunting residence in the town itself. Nascent tourism started to evolve and a number of artists came to the area, which reportedly gave rise to "Malereck" (literally painter's corner) on the shore of Königssee. The most famous author who lived in Berchtesgaden was Ludwig Ganghofer.

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