The Coal Storage Bunker – Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden Germany

Coal storage bunker Obersalzberg Germany
The coal storage bunker, Obersalzberg, Germany

In 1940, to supply the buildings on the Obersalzberg of electricity and heat, a huge coal storage was built near Hitler’s Berghof by Italian laborers. The bunker was built against the mountainside below the Eagle’s Nest, just opposite of Hermann Göring’s house. The construction costs went sky high when Martin Bormann decided that the facade of the bunker had to be done all over again for an amazing 77.000 Reichsmark in total.

The coal storage is 38 meters wide, 20 meters deep and about 20 meters high. With it’s huge proportions it could hold 10.000 cubic meters of coal, which is somewhere between 3,500 to 4,000 tons.

Delivery trucks dumped their loads through the roof of the storage bunker from the road high above. Smaller trucks could pick up their loads at the bottom from the storage and delivered the coal to various buildings and houses of the Führers headquarters. The main heating plant was situated at the SS barracks in the center field, other buildings had their own heating systems, so there was a steady demand of coal.

In 1945 the coal strorage was set on fire either by retreating SS troops or by advancing Allied soldiers. It burned from early May 1945 until October 1945, an astonishing half year long!

Barbed wire in front of the Coal Storage Bunker
Barbed wire in front of the Coal Storage Bunker on the Obersalzberg, Germany
Coal Storage Bunker Obersalzberg
Patrick in front the Coal Storage Bunker at the Obersalzberg, Germany
Coal storage chamber Obersalzberg
A view inside one of the storage chambers of the bunker
Storage chamber
A closer look inside another storage chamber of the bunker
Coal Storage Bunker Obersalzberg
Pascal shows the sheer size of the Coal Storage Bunker
facade of the Coal Storage Bunker Obersalzberg
The impressive facade of the Coal Storage Bunker
Coal storage bunker warning sign
Beware: Danger of Collapse

Visit the coal storage

The Coal storage bunker, or Koksbunker, is in relative good shape. Some of the original wooden doors are still present. On top of the bunker the decay is visible, and it looks like it’s about to collapse. Therefore it is fenced off and there are multiple warning signs to keep you of the roof or out of the bunker itself.

2 thoughts on “The Coal Storage Bunker – Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden Germany

Hi, I am very interested in the Coal Bunker. It looks like an interesting design and it’s fascinating that it’s still there. Could you point me in the direction of some more reading material on the bunkers? You explain quite a bit about them. Is there a book or primary source I can take a look at to learn more?
Any help would be very appreciated!

Hi John,
We do not think the Coal Storage bunker is book worthy on its own, we suggest you search for a detailed book on the Obersalzberg which documents all the buildings on the mountain during the war. Maybe the Berlin Archive can give you specific information. Our research was in the field, online and with the help of a Dutch book on the eagles nest titled: ‘Het Adelaarsnest’ from H. Van Capelle. Unfortunately it’s not in your native language. We hope you can find some good information on the subject.

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