In 1810 Berchtesgaden was ceded to Bavaria from Austria. Situated near by, Königssee became a haven for the Bavarian Royal Family for the next 100 years. Nine paddle boats were used and it took special permission from the Royal Family to travel upon the lake.
Today the Weiss-Blaue Flotte uses 21 electric powered boats to transport tourists and they come by the bus load from Munich and Salzburg which are close by. The lake located in the Bavarian Alps is bounded on one side by the Watzmann Est Face which reaches a peak of 1800 meters. In this true Alpine setting the lake is approximately 190 meters deep and is considered the cleanest lake in Germany.
Driving from Berchtesgaden you arrive at a large parking lot. Along the walk down to the lake are a variety of shops selling everything from souvenirs to expensive traditional clothes called Trachtenmoden. There are also a number of restaurants along the way. The clothes are not cheap but they are made tolast, in most cases a lifetime. The return trip from Königssee to St. Bartholomä takes 1 ¼ hours. At the various stops there are anumber of short hikes that can be taken.
On the lake there is a large restaurant hosted in a former royal hunting lodge but it is a small Fischerei that has the best local fish. These are smoked on the premises for more than five hours before being served! The menu is quite limited with nothing but trout, beer and a piece of bread available. You'll sit on benches and eat on a picnic table. In fact the place looks as if it was built inside either a tool shed or stable but you won't be disappointed if you love fish. The price is quite reasonable or so I am told and the fish are caught every day. I can comment on the beer, and since we are in Germany it can only be very good.
Of course the centerpiece of our visit is the Church of St. Bartholomä which was first mentioned on deeds in 1134. The interior is quite small but it is the image of those distinctive red domes set amongst the lake and the surrounding Alps that will stay with you long after you have left. What some would call a tourist destination, it is one well worth the visit . If you wish you can continue your journey to Salat another 1 ¾ hours thereand back. From Salat it's an easy 15 minute walk to the Obersee. Here the Hagen mountains are reflected in the crystal-clear waters and the Röthbach waterfall plunges 400 meters. During our visit the weather was beautiful and while out on the water the boat was stopped while the guide preceded to play a trumpet who's sound reverberated from the steep granite walls. The absence of other motorized boat traffic makes this a truly magical place.