Just a few hundred metres from the shore when you take off on your cruise of Koenigsee you'll see a small moniment on an island.
Christlieger is its name of that small island. The only way to get there is by renting a rowing-boat or swimming! Just make sure you've brought your wetsuit; the water, as you might readily discern is not remotely warm.
The small monument is of of christ with just a small path and nothing else than just a really romantic place in a great mountain-lake-scenery.
We took the Jennerbahn in May 2006 so that we could walk from the middle station down to Kessel which is the half way stop on the electric boats on the Konigsee. It took us three hours via a very nice walk down the meadows and steeply down through the trees to the lake. The paths are well signedposted (free map foldout at the bottom ticket office) and the difficulty was medium - we are in our fifties and found the walk just about right. you need strong knees but otherwise with decent shoes you should be alright. There is a good little coffee/lunch cafe about halfway as well. At Kessel, which is a tennis court sized meadow on the lake side under neath a steep cliff, you have to move an indicator on the landing stage so it shows a dayglo marker to the boats either coming up the lake or down so that they can change their route and pick you up. A truly wonderful walk with a cold beer at the end !! Views of the Watzmann and the lake are stupendous and worth every drop of perspiration.
Kessel is a small piece of land at the foot of the Jenner-massiv and most of the tourists will simply see it from a large distance, while the ship is passing by it on the way to St.Bartholomae. Kessel is a so-called "Bedarfs-Haltestelle" , a place where the ship will land ONLY in case that you ask for it in advance. Kessel is the tiny piece of land with the hut on it, that you may see on my 2nd and 3rd picture. From Kessel you may start or (preferably) end a full-day-hike to the mountains above Koenigsee, mainly to the Jenner, high above Koenigsee.Such a hike is for experienced and well-trained hikers only, take a look at my map of the area !! - For all others I may highly recommend the cable-car from Schoenau am Koenigsee to Jenner : it is easy and not exhausting at all...
In order to get a ship landing in Kessel
call +49 (0) 86 52 / 96 36 - 0
This is a small place just about halfway from the large parking in Schoenau am Koenigsee and Jennerbahn and it might be a good place to pass by with your children. Its nice to see these goats, some of them have a bell around their neck, they will climb up the top of the small huts, that are covered the old traditional bavarian way with wooden tiles and stones on top to hold them.
For the larger children there is a go-cart-track and mini-golf just next to it.
Franziskanerkirche is my favorite church in Berchtesgaden and it was built in the year 1488 for the Augustinian-nuns and was changed to a franciscan church and monastery in 1695. In 1822 the monastery was given up and the building was first used by the bavarian ministery of justice and recently it became the seat of the National Park Berchtesgaden.
Normally you may see the interior of Franziskanerkirche freely and without restrictions during the day, it is quite interesting to see the gothic construction with a row of columns in the middle of the church, deviding the church into 2 halfs, both of wich are equally decorated. Normally you would expect a large nave in the centre and columns at both sides, but here it is different !
Wittelsbacher-Brunnen was first built by Churfuerst Maximilian Heinrich in 1677, it was destroyed afterwards and rebuilt again in 1860 in order to memorate the re-unification of Berchtesgaden with Bavaria. This wonderful fountain with the lion, the symbol of Bavaria is opposite of the Hirschenhaus, so you cannot miss it, while walking through the lovely city-centre of Berchtesgaden.
Hirschenhaus is my favorite building in the centre of Berchtesgaden, it dates back to the year 1594 and used to be the "Gasthof zum Hirschen" ! Take a look at the ornate decorations at the front-side of the building with various kings and noble people plus large columns and decorations that look like they would be 3-dimensional. "Lueftlmalerei" is the expression for that kind of painted facades that you may find in many parts of Bavaria, BUT this house is really special, because you may also see some great decorations at the backside of that same building : All of the facade on the backside is decorated with scenes, where apes are dressed like bankers, bakers etc. that was really funny to see.
Kornmesserhaus is the name of this building dating back to the year 1055 but it has got a new facade in the 19th century.It was built outside of the Fronfeste,next to the entrance-gate and is a good example how old the city of Berchtesgaden is. It used to be an important city to produce Salz, that was expensive like gold in the medeaval times.
On my other pictures you may see a few fine examples of the lovely architecture in the old town of Berchtesgaden.
Nonntal (valley of the nuns) is the name of the oldest street in Berchtesgaden and when you have some time left you should take a walk there in order to see some of the typical buildings with great architecture. There is also a large carpark there, from where you may start to explore the city of Berchtesgaden easily and while walking towards the Schloss you will always see the Watzmann (the scenic mountain-group with the 2 peaks) in the distance. Many ledgends are told about Watzmann, there is even a musical about it "Der Watzmann ruft" (Watzmann is calling)
Fronfeste is the name of the old fortification of Berchtesgaden, that you may see opposite of the Koenigliches Schloss. There are 2 large gates at both sides and a lot of arcades with a great facade, showing some interesting frescos.
Under these arcades you will also see an Enzian-Brennerei , a destillery that is transferring the roots of the alpine flowers "Enzian" intoa brandy, that might make a great souvenir as well, BUT maybe you better taste it, before you take it home
Koenigliches Schloss Berchtesgaden is the large palace next to one of the churches in the centre of the town and it was founded as an Augustinian monastery in 1100. In the 16th century it became one of the summer-residences of the royal Wittelsbacher family and nowadays it is a museum for fine furniture, porcelain, paintings and a lot more - see the picture that I made at the entrance of the museum.
Berchtesgaden National Park is a paradise for hikers, offering a highly relaxing landscape. From St. Bartholoma I saw some trails leading up to the mountains. For hiking and nature lovers, this would be a great place to wonder trough and then look back at the Konigsee lake.
Whilst in Maria Gern visit the pretty baroque pilgrim church - another onion dome that is oft photographed! The countryside around here is particularly idyllic too.
You can walk here if feeling energetic (its uphill!) - we got the 9537 bus from Berchtesgaden and walked back downhill through the woods ;-)
Ramsau in Berchtesgadenland is such an idyllic spot - don't you think, no wonder its popular with painters. Its just a short bus ride from Berchtesgaden (bus 9546) and from here you can extend a days outing by walking through the nearby magic forest of Zauberwald and on to Hintersee. (about 1 hours walk)
Another interesting gorge to visit and hike through is the Almbachklamm. To reach it take a local bus from Berchtesgaden on the Marktschellenberg route. In about 11 minutes you will reach the gorge stop where you walk to the gorge entrance via the Kugelmuhle (ball mill). Again only accessible in the summer months and a small entrance fee is payable. From the Kugelmuhle the path leads through the gorge to the Thereisen-Klause Dam in about 1 hour 30 mins. The path and steps (take care as slippery when wet) are protected by railings and wire cables. From the dam the path branches off via Ettenberg to reach Marktschellenberg in about 2hours 30 mins. Another path leads to Hintergern-Maria Gern.
Our option was to get a local bus from Berchtesgadedn to Hintergern - Maria Glen and walk the opposite way to the gorge (an easier route!) in about 2 hours and then bus back from the Kugelmuhle.