Thursday, August 7, 2008

Berchtesgaden Alps

The Berchtesgaden Alps in Bavaria (Germany) is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Located 150 kilometres south-east of Munich at the border to Austria (30 km south of Salzburg) Berchtesgaden was certificated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1990. Biosphere reserves are sites recognized under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme which innovate and demonstrate approaches to conservation and sustainable development. It is the only alpine biosphere in Germany often associated with the Mount Watzmann, at 2713 m the third-highest mountain in the country. The biosphere reserve encompasses submontane, montane and subalpine forests and alpine meadows. One of the main tourist attractions is the famous lake Königssee. Surrounded by towering rock cliffs, the lake - emerald green and silent - is set in one of the most impressive landscapes in the Alps. Another notable attraction is the Kehlstein mountain (1,835 m) with its Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest), which offers spectacular views to its visitors.
Local economy depends mostly on tourism and visitors of a health resort with mineral springs. The spa resort of Bad Reichenhall has become the first german town to fulfil the criteria required of an Alpine Wellness location. Its philosophy strictly targets quality and not quantity. Bad Reichenhalls secret is salt: the health-giving brine, that each can enjoy. Drawn directly from nature´s source, this pure and proven force of life is a fountain of health.
Small-scale agriculture gives the landscape its characteristical features.