Guadalest, Alicante -Spain – the Eagle’s Nest carved into the Mountain


Guadalest, Alicante – the Eagle’s Nest carved into the Mountain

Map showing the location of Guadalest

guadalestGuadalest, the ‘Eagle’s Nest’, is located about 25 km inland from Benidorm along the CV-70 road, just over 1 hour from Alicante. It enjoys one of the most spectacular locations of any village in Spain, set high up on a pinnacle and carved out of a mountain top in the midst of truly stunning scenery. It has a population of only 200 but is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain.

The drive inland from Altea is fascinating as you follow the winding road ever higher past the picturesque village of Polop, before emerging finally high up over Guadalest.

Of Islamic origin, Guadalest was a military stronghold of great strategic importance and is the site of several ancient castles, the remains of which can still be seen today – although earthquakes and battles during the War of Spanish Succession (early 18th Century) have reduced these castles to little more than shells.

One of its most famous landmarks is the Peñon de La Alcalá tower rising high above the village to watch over the valley below.

The castle village, which is reached through a tunnel, is a delight, with many little craft and souvenir shops, several cafés and museums. You can take a little tour around the inside of the castle and the ramparts. It only costs a few Euros and you will be rewarded with some simply breathtaking views of the surrounding valley and down to the Bay of Altea. There are many works of art on display, from the elaborate to the comical (‘Man eating Hotdog’ right).



View from the top of Guadalest Castle

November 2004.

We have mentioned that Guadalest is one of the most popular attractinos in Spain, so get there early and you will enjoy the castle to yourself. The castle tour opens at 10 am. Be prepared for some steep inclines and wear sturdy footwear to cope with the cobbled paths. Bring your camera and a head for heights!

The DungeonsKids will love the castle too. It is simply exciting being in a ruined castle on top of the world. There is also a dungeon to explore and several coin-operated telescopes to peer down at the resevoir and the countryside below.

Guadalest has been declared a ‘Monument of Historical and Artistic Value‘ and is a must for any sightseeing visitors to the Costa Blanca.

Altea is the nearest coastal resort to Guadalest. More about Altea. 
Hotels in Altea

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Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest Retreat – Berchtesgaden, Germany


Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” was designed and built for Adolf Hilter’s 50th Birthday by his personal secretary and Head of the Nazi Party Chancellery Martin Bormann.  The monument is called “Kehlsteinhaus” in German because of it was originally intended to be a “Teahouse” for the head of the Third Reich.  This mountain-top hideaway played a prominent role as the main unit objective in HBO’s critically acclaimed mini-series “Band of Brothers.”

   

The allied bombing and battles of World War II left the building intact and today the Eagle’s Nest remains in its original state.  In the years after the war, the Eagle’s Nest and the surrounding area of Berchtesgaden remained a part of US Armed Forces property in southeastern Germany.  The US military set up a recreation center where servicemembers could hike in the summer and ski in the winter.  The US military returned the area to Germany in the 1990s.

At that time, the German government demolished the American General Walker Hotel at Obersalzberg, to make way for the existing bus depot that serves the Eagle’s Nest.

Guided Tours of the Eagle’s Nest and Berchtesgaden – CLICK HERE!

TODAY:
Today, you can get there by taking the local bus or driving from Berchtesgaden to Obersalzberg, a small village community.  At Obersalzberg, you must buy tickets on the Eagle’s Nest bus (the road is closed to privately-owned vehicles) which takes you up the mountain.  This bus route provides some of the most spectacular views of the German and Austrian Alps. 

At the end of the bus ride, you will walk through a marble-lined tunnel 400 feet into the heart of the mountain.  There you will ride the original brass elevator 400 feet straight up into the Eagle’s Nest building at the top of the mountain.

 

      

There you will be able to walk around the grounds at 6017 feet altitude and enjoy the spectacular scenery.

You can combine this wonderful day trip with a stay in the nearby city of Salzburg, which is just across the German border with Austria.  Or you may want to visit other World War II historical sights in the area, such as the Hofbräuhaus and Dachau Concentration Camp in Munich.

TOUR:
Tickets to the Eagle’s Nest can be purchased at Obersalzberg.  Busses leave for the Eagle’s Nest every 20-30 minutes from 8:00am to 4:00pm daily from May to October.  For more information, call +49 8652 2969 from May – October, or +49 8652 61244 from November – April.

Cheap Car Rentals from Munich’s Franz Josef Airport

Cheap Car Rentals from Frankfurt Airport

Click Here to map the Eagle’s Nest!

Berchtesgaden’s Castle was originally the seat of the small church state until it became the summer residence of the Bavarian royal family in 1810. The Augustine Abbey of Canons founded in 1102 eventually became an independent church state within the German Empire and became a prince-provostry in 1559.

Until it was secularized in 1803 the monastery remained the residence of the ruling lords of Berchtesgaden. The castle complex is the result of centuries of construction, alterations and additions that continued until the end of the 1700s. Though it is still privately owned by the Bavarian royal family, the main rooms are open to the public on regularly-scheduled guided tours.

Additional information at: www.haus-bayern.com

Eagle’s -Nest Castles (Poland)


Eagle’s -Nest Castles (Poland)



 

 
Eagle-nest Castles is a chain of medieval strongholds picturesquely elevated over the utterly scenic landscape of the rolling Krakow-Czestochowa Upland graced with profusion of fancy limestone rocks, gorges, cavities, etc. 

King Casimir III the Great (1333–1370) erected most of the once formidable fortresses to protect what was Poland’s western frontier, at the time perilously close to the country’s capital city, Krakow. 
Later on the king’s castles passed into the hands of various aristocratic families, together with the adjacent land. New owners usually did their best to adapt the medieval fortresses as stately manor-houses and family nests through successive overhaul, expansion, refurbishment, renovation, etc. without compromising the defenses as long as possible. Nonetheless eventually the proud eagle-nest castles largely turned into picturesque ruins over the centuries. 
Eagle Nests’ Route, connecting several of the most interesting strongholds, starts in Krakow and has its end in Czestochowa. 

Ojcow Castle or rather what remained of it at a village of the same name in the heart of the Ojcow National Park: the Gothic gate housing tiny local museum, the octagonal tower of stone, and ruins of the chapel. Popular as a tourist destination since the 18th century, the village of Ojcow was a fashionable health resort through the second half of the 19th century. A few buildings in the period’s so-called ‘Ojcow style’ last, e.g. two former hotels: one turned into the Nature Museum, the other into the post office. 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Pieskowa Skala Castle , called ‘a pearl of the Polish Renaissance’, at the Ojcow National Park’s northernmost end, among forests on a hill overlooking the picturesque Pradnik river valley, dates back to the mid 14th century. In the 16th century it underwent a refurbishment after the fashion of the north-Italian Renaissance. Since 1970 it has been home to a European art museum, a branch of Krakow’s Wawel Royal Castle. 

has been home to a European art museum, a branch of Krakow’s Wawel Royal Castle. 

 
 
 
 

 Rabsztyn Castle , overlooking a village of the same name, replaced a wooden fort of the end of the 13th century. At the turn of the 17th century a much larger Renaissance lower castle-palace was built next to the upper mid-14-century Gothic stronghold. In 1657 Swedes burned the Rabsztyn castle. Nowadays scenic ruins feature outside walls up to the second and remains of the Renaissance gate. 


 
 
 
 

Smolen Castle remained in ruins at the village of Smolen: the Gothic gate, part of the eastern wall with the sentry gallery, and tall watchtower. The castle hill has been listed as the landscape park since 1959. 

 Ogrodzieniec Castle , 2 km east of the 4,600 Ogrodzieniec town, stands among fanciful limestone crags atop the greatest (504 m) elevation of the Krakow Upland, granting splendid panorama. In 1545 the grand Renaissance castle-palace of Krakow’s powerful and fabulously rich Boner family replaced the king’s mid-14th-century fortress. The castle was abandoned in 1810, but great deal of its fortifications, towers, and other structures still can be seen thanks to a secure tourist route running through the imposing ruins.

Mirow and Bobolice Castles , twin strongholds connected by a ridge, lie 1,5 km from each other. The former was first a wooden fort, turned into a Gothic fortress in the 14th c., turned a manor-house in the 16th c., abandoned by 1787. The latter was knights-robbers’ hideout first, next the 14th-century king’s frontier fort, then an aristocratic manor between 1500 and 1661 when deserted. 

Olsztyn Castle above a town-like village of the same name dated back to the late 13th century but was made a formidable Gothic stronghold by 1349. In its tower one of King Casimir III the Great’s rebellious barons was starved to death in 1360. In the mid 15th century the fortress was turned into a palatial residence, ravished by Swede forces in 1656. Its ruins consist of the 14th-century 35-m-tall round tower (once the starvation-death dungeon), adjacent remnants of the residential quarters with a large cave underneath, and the square watchtower. 

 

 

Pieskowa Skala Castle , called ‘a pearl of the Polish Renaissance’, at the Ojcow National Park’s northernmost end, among forests on a hill overlooking the picturesque Pradnik river valley, dates back to the mid 14th century. In the 16th century it underwent a refurbishment after the fashion of the north-Italian Renaissance. Since 1970 it has been home to a European art museum, a branch of Krakow’s Wawel Royal Castle. 

Rabsztyn Castle , overlooking a village of the same name, replaced a wooden fort of the end of the 13th century. At the turn of the 17th century a much larger Renaissance lower castle-palace was built next to the upper mid-14-century Gothic stronghold. In 1657 Swedes burned the Rabsztyn castle. Nowadays scenic ruins feature outside walls up to the second and remains of the Renaissance gate. 

Smolen Castle remained in ruins at the village of Smolen: the Gothic gate, part of the eastern wall with the sentry gallery, and tall watchtower. The castle hill has been listed as the landscape park since 1959. 

Ogrodzieniec Castle , 2 km east of the 4,600 Ogrodzieniec town, stands among fanciful limestone crags atop the greatest (504 m) elevation of the Krakow Upland, granting splendid panorama. In 1545 the grand Renaissance castle-palace of Krakow’s powerful and fabulously rich Boner family replaced the king’s mid-14th-century fortress. The castle was abandoned in 1810, but great deal of its fortifications, towers, and other structures still can be seen thanks to a secure tourist route running through the imposing ruins.

Mirow and Bobolice Castles , twin strongholds connected by a ridge, lie 1,5 km from each other. The former was first a wooden fort, turned into a Gothic fortress in the 14th c., turned a manor-house in the 16th c., abandoned by 1787. The latter was knights-robbers’ hideout first, next the 14th-century king’s frontier fort, then an aristocratic manor between 1500 and 1661 when deserted. 

Mirow 

 
 
 
 

Bobolice 

 
 
 

Olsztyn Castle above a town-like village of the same name dated back to the late 13th century but was made a formidable Gothic stronghold by 1349. In its tower one of King Casimir III the Great’s rebellious barons was starved to death in 1360. In the mid 15th century the fortress was turned into a palatial residence, ravished by Swede forces in 1656. Its ruins consist of the 14th-century 35-m-tall round tower (once the starvation-death dungeon), adjacent remnants of the residential quarters with a large cave underneath, and the square watchtower.

Tenczyn (Rudno)

Lipowiec

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