The Königssee is a natural lake in the extreme southeast Berchtesgadener Land district of the German state of Bavaria, near the Austrian border. Most of the lake is within the Berchtesgaden National Park. The lake is noted for its clear water and is advertised as the cleanest lake in Germany. For this reason, only electric-powered passenger ships,rowing, and pedal boats have been permitted on the lake since 1909.
VW Beetle on the bottom of the Königssee in Berchtesgadener Land.
In particularly cold years, when the Königssee was frozen and no ships could cross the Königssee to St. Bartholomä, the lake was opened to pedestrians and motor vehicles. So also in the year 1964. On January 28th of the year the route over the lake was blocked for the passenger car traffic by a barrier. Thus, a 52-year-old driver was also rejected by the night watchmen of the Königssee-shipping at the barrier. But the desire seemed too great to go over to St. Bartholomew that night. According to information, the Beetle driver wanted to visit his partner on the peninsula at the other end of the lake. She worked as a waitress at the restaurant on St. Bartholomä. So he drove a bit further to the former seaside resort on the ice rink near the restaurant today Echostüble. A 40cm high embankment led him down there on the ice of the Königssee, which he then crossed with the VW Beetle. On the way back from the peninsula of St. Bartholomä below the Watzmann, however, the car probably slipped in front of the Falkensteinwand. The water was not frozen due to the local depth of the Königsee (about 120 meters) and the Volkswagen sank with the driver in the icy water. Tire tracks confirmed this the following day. The VW Beetle was found in Königssee a few years ago by a manned submarine. Due to the depth of the Königssee, it is not easy to dive down there. At the Falkensteinwand the water is even up to 120 meters deep. And that's where the crawler animal from Volkswagen and its driver is. There are always stories about the VW Beetle and the driver. The driver of the beetle is, it is reported, a few meters next to the vehicle on the icy bottom of the lake. Due to the low oxygen content of the water at this depth he was still surprisingly well preserved. A photo of the VW Beetle and the driver is exhibited in the Museum Carolinum Augusteum in Salzburg. The VW Beetle and the corpse were not recovered at the request of the family from the Königssee. The Alpensee am Watzmann is said to be his grave. Rest in peace!