(in English-speaking countries also known as the Eagle's Nest
), is a chalet-style building which when built was an extension of the Obersalzberg
complex built by the Nazis
in the German Alps
. The Kehlsteinhaus was an official 50th birthday present for Adolf Hitler
. Nicknamed Eagle's Nest
by a French diplomat, it was meant to be a retreat for Hitler and a place for him to entertain visiting dignitaries.
It was commissioned by Martin Bormann, with construction proceeding over a 13-month period prior to its formal presentation to Hitler in 1939. It is situated on a ridge at the top of the Kehlstein mountain (6017 feet, 1834 m), reached by a spectacular 6.5 km (3.9 mile) road that cost 30 million Reichsmark to build (about 150 million euros in 2007, adjusted in line with inflation). The last 124 metres up to the Kehlsteinhaus are reached by an elevator bored straight down through the mountain and linked through a long granite tunnel below. The inside of the large elevator car is surfaced with polished brass, Venetian mirrors and green leather (the elevator is still used daily). Construction of the mountain elevator system cost the lives of 12 construction workers . The main reception room is dominated by a fireplace of red Italian marble, presented by Mussolini. Much of the furniture was designed by Paul Laszlo.