Still during the construction a lot of people were happy to have a job. In the region were more than 20% of the workers unemployed, or laid off. The people in the region were happy to work at this very bold project.
To build this road was not easy and very dangerous. Lots of people walked every day up to the mountain to build one small bridge, 5 tunnels and cut out the road by TNT, dynamite and hand-work. Helmets were not used very often and if it was raining it was even more dangerous to construct.
Some stories tell about people being tortured to work on this road and that prisoners had to help to construct this road and the eagle’s nest. As far as documents that have been found about this road, it is proofed that prisoners were only used to help to finish the building in time and during it’s operation during the war but never during the construction. Also nobody was killed or tortured to work on this project on purpose. Unfortunately there were accidents and people died during the construction of this project but mainly due to the fact that the workers did not protect themselves. 4 people died during a truck accident (a truck slipped down driving the road up wit 4 people in it an fell down for over 300ft.). The rest were either killed by falling rocks or that they fell down.
Still nowadays the road and the eagle’s nest can be visited. The road has been opened in the year 1952 to the public but immediately been regulated due to too much private cars. The community of Berchtesgaden contracted the local bavarian state bus company to organize public buses up to the eagle’s nest and one turn-out point was constructed to make the public transportation possible and save. The drivers are undertaking every year a special driving test and the buses are specially equipped (by a special transmission to avoid brake’s heat).
Every spring and during summer time regular checks of the mountain has to be done in order to avoid rocks falling on the road. In the winter time the road is closed to a high risk of avalanches.
The road is only opened to the public after all checks and clearings have been done. It is open always in the first half of the month of May until the End of October. Still even in the summer it can happen that the road has to be closed due to heavy rain, or snow and the safety for the passengers cannot be guaranteed.
Drive with us up to the Eagle’s nest and learn more about this spectacular place full of stories and history. We are looking forward to meet you here in Salzburg. Best regards and a good travel B(e)specialtours!