Aaaaahhh! Heavenly, isn’t it? Welcome to the Königssee: King’s Lake, in English. This is one of my favorite places on the entire planet. It’s actually somewhere I get to visit every other year, too, and I look forward to it as soon as I’ve left.
Königssee is a pristine alpine lake nestled in what’s known as “Berchtesgadener Land”, which is located in southeastern Bavaria near the border of Austria. This gem of a lake is over 600 feet deep at its deepest, though it averages 300+ feet deep in most places, and though exceeding deep and cold, quite a few of my students have been known to take a dip! It’s so tranquil and clear, who could say no?
We line up early with our tickets on the dock at the northern end of the lake – the students not quite knowing what to expect, but already amazed at the landscape – and when the time comes, we board a small electric vessel (only electric boats are allowed to keep the lake crystal clean) and relax as we glide across the serene, transparent water, through the mountains. About half way through the journey in the middle of the lake, we stop, and a thick-accented Bavarian trumpeter appears (in Lederhosen, no less) to play a tune that echos across the lake and through the valley. It’s magical.
After being serenaded, we continue on to the peninsula of Hirschau, where we step off and wander along the shoreline, through the woods, and around the chapel of St. Bartholomä (a pilgrimage church dedicated in 1134), all while under the watchful eye of the surrounding mountains. The air is crisper than crisp, the alpine water sparkles, the mountains are indescribably magnificent, and the sun always shines – even when it rains. This is truly one of the most majestic places under heaven. Perhaps that is why the Bavarian kings loved it as much as we do.
Check out the video below to experience the Königssee “live” and be serenaded by a Bavarian trumpeter (turn up your speaker volume to hear the “second” trumpet).