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Berchtesgaden Local Customs: 9 reviews and 12 photos

the Watzmann - Berchtesgaden

the Watzmann

Berchtesgaden's Symbol

The Watzmann massif has come to be known as the symbol of the Berchtesgaden area due to the following legend:
King Watzmann ruled over Berchtesgaden, he hated humans and animals and loved to torment his subjects and torture their animals. Mad hunting parties were his favorite sport and he loved the sound of the hunting horns and the baying of the hounds resounding throughout the forest. His wife and seven children also shared his lust for wild hunts where the sweating horses collapsed with exhaustion and the game was chased to death before being savagely shredded to bits by the hounds. This madness continued until God decided to punish them. With cries of ‘Off to the hunt!’ echoing from the castle courtyard and hunting horns resounding, the whole family set off with their baying hounds. In the pale light of dawn, the king noticed an old woman with her grandchild on her lap. He spurred his horse on toward them so as to trample them to death. When the farmer and his wife ran out of the hut to bring their dying loved ones inside, the king called the dogs on them till they were bitten to shreds. Smiling, the king, queen and children observed the bloody scene. Now here they stand, immortalised in rock: the king, his wife and seven children forced to stare down into Berchtesgadenerland.

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  • Written Feb 8, 2004
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