Winter’s Delight: The Beautiful Königsee and St. Bartholomew’s Church

by Brea

We visited the beautiful German Alps region southeast of Munich the other weekend. My husband had been skiing that week so I drove down Friday night after work so we could explore the area together and visit Berchesgaden. He was in a quiet small town that didn’t have much for us to do, but made for some really beautiful shots in the morning. The fog had rolled in and was blanketing the landscape quite nicely. The town was so small that I think there was only one restaurant which lucky for us was quite fantastic.

After our morning walk we decided to drive to Berchtesgaden for the day. It’s one of Germany’s national parks and is most famous for the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s former summer house he had commissioned. The area is in Bavaria on the southeastern tip of Germany and borders Austria. In fact when we drove there we crossed over into Austria for about ten minutes. Luckily there aren’t border checks because I forgot my passport that weekend! Rookie mistake. Salzburg is also about a half hour away. Since the Eagle’s Nest is closed in the winter until May, I thought it would be a great time to instead visit one of Berchtesgaden’s gems, the Königsee or Schönau am Königsee. Königsee is a gigantic lake that looks fjord like because of the mountains that shoot straight up from it. It’s not possible to drive around the lake, but you can take a boat ride out to St. Bartholomew’s, a church that was built in 1134. It’s a small church set against a beautiful backdrop. The lake is well protected and is evident by it’s rich beautiful green color. Since the early 1900’s people have worked to ensure that the lake remains clean and pure.

The boat ran frequently throughout the day, and I was surprised that there were quite a few tourists here in the winter. I’m guessing it gets pretty packed in the summer months. 

The inside of the boat. Thankful it was enclosed!

Getting closer to St. Bartholomew! 

There was someone providing historical background of the area and pointing out interesting facts about the landscape and geography. Unfortunately it was all in German and the guy speaking spoke very quickly and quietly so I didn’t catch any of it. Instead, we made up what we thought he was talking about, which was highly entertaining for us.

At one point, the boat stopped and the engine cut out. The narrator took out a trumpet and opened the doors. He started playing and we quickly realized that the sound was echoing off of the mountains. Every time he played it echoed back at us. It was a really nice added bonus to our trip and something I’ll never forget. I think that was worth the 17 Euros for the ride in itself. The trumpet is called a Flügelhorn in German and the mountain we stopped at is actually nicknamed ‘Echo Wall’.

This gives you a taste of how small the church looks next to the mountains.

After our little jaunt out on the water, we walked through the short area of shops along the pedestrian street that led between the parking lot and the lake. Along the way, we saw a gigantic dog with poodle curly hair hanging out in front of one of the stores. Check out the pictures below, he was massive! We were petting him and then he started following us for a bit. I guess he liked us.

There is a lot more to do in the Berchesgadener Land and is deserving of a post in itself. If you like the outdoors and hiking this may be a great getaway from Munich or Salzburg on your trip!

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3 comments

Katie January 29, 2014 - 2:09 pm

Wow, those photos of the morning fog are just beautiful, Brea!

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Michael Schwägerl June 11, 2014 - 11:07 am

I love your Pictures! Well done! I was 2 times there! I am German from Bavaria! Everytime i am there it is like in a Wonderful Dream! Thank you for sharing!

Greetings from The National Park Bavarian Forest,
M.S.

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Steve S July 22, 2014 - 7:15 pm

Yep…been here a few times myself. The horn is a standard item they do on every trip, I think. Each time I took the boat ride they did this….at least on the way out. Last time I was there we stopped at the far end by the Obersee and had lunch. Not to bad! I remember getting my foot muddy as I took a misstep while approaching some cows for a picture….and a little embarrassed when I had lunch. I don’t thing anyone gave me a second look….whew!

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