Built atop of the Kehlstein Mountain in the Bavarian Alps near the Austrian border, the Eagle's Nest is a spectacular mansion commissioned by Martin Bormann as a birthday present for Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Known to the Germans as das Kehlsteinhaus (the house on Kehlstein), the Eagle's Nest was a nickname used by the Allies in World War II, which is thought to have been first used by French ambassador André François Poncet while visiting the estate.
Completed in 1938, the construction of this house resting at 6017 feet (1834 m) and the road rising to it took 13 months using the finest architects, engineers, craftsmen and laborers in all of Germany. In all, the project cost about 30 million Reichsmarks, the equivalent of 150 million euros. The road to the estate had to be constructed first. With blasting and tunnel building, they were able to construct this 4-mile path with only one hairpin corner.
At the end of the road is 413-foot (126 m) tunnel into the middle of the mountain that leads to an elevator, which carries visitors 426 feet (130 m) to the house. While the elevator was being constructed, a cable system was used to transport building supplies to the top of the mountain. The system extended three-quarters of a mile (1270 m) and raised materials 2200 feet (670 m).
The house is sometimes called Hitler's Tea House, suggesting that Hitler held social parties and entertained at the residence. In fact, Hitler rarely visited the house because of his fear of heights and fear of being struck by lightning. However, the house was well used by Eva Braun and Martin Bormann for social occasions.
The Eagle's Nest was a target for Allied bombers during World War II, as they thought it could be a front for a military base buried in the mountain, though it was never hit. The house also survived the destruction of Nazi icons after the war and has become a popular tourist attraction with a restaurant and a nearby golf course.