The first snow of this winter fell in Bavaria in mid-November and the beginning of December was more wintry than it had been in twelve years.
When winter arrives in the Berchtesgaden Land, the snow-covered mountain landscape unfolds a very special magic: Forests packed in cotton wool, snow crystals glitter in the sun and the sky changes its pastel color of twilight into the deepest blue during the day.
Since I had not yet been able to experience or even photograph such winter magic there, I decided without hesitation to take a short trip to the only German national park in the Alps.
I experienced the long-awaited winter romance immediately after my arrival in the municipality of Ramsau in front of what is probably the most famous church in Berchtesgaden, the parish church of St. Sebastian. At Christmas time, the late-Gothic church, built in 1512, presents itself in a particularly festive illumination and is one of the most well-known motifs in landscape painting.
The parish church of St. Sebastian in the evening...
...in the morning...
...in the daytime.
All around rise the peaks of the Berchtesgaden Alps, above all the Watzmann (2,713 meters), the symbol of the region.
The Maria Gern pilgrimage church is one of the most photographed motifs due to its unique location with a frontal view of the Watzmann massif. This high alpine backdrop was also an ideal and coveted winter photo spot for me, and I was also allowed to stay overnight in the directly adjacent Gasthof Maria Gern.
A shot of the ideal image of a romantic mountain lake was a must, so I went to the idyllic Hintersee, which is very close to the mountaineering village of Ramsau. Crystal clear and smooth as glass, it presented itself shortly before sunset. The surrounding mountains and the setting sun were reflected on the water surface, while elsewhere the icy water slowly but surely froze over from the shore.
The stay in the idyllic winter landscape in Upper Bavaria was short, but these enchanting winter impressions will last for a long time.