The idea to build the scenic German Alpine Road (Deutsche Alpenstrasse) was born in 1927. Running alongside the mountain range, it was supposed to connect the mountains between Lake Constance and Lake Königssee to promote tourism. The national socialists seized on the idea in 1933 and started building the first stretch in the town of Inzell.
The Rossfeldhöhenringstrasse was planned as the eastern end of the German Alpine Road, running from the locality of Unterau through Oberau, the Rossfeld, the Obersalzberg mountain and Hinterbrand and bringing the German Alpine Road to a magnificent conclusion at Lake Königssee. Although construction started in 1938, the final stretch was only completed between 1953 and 1955. However, since the section between Hinterbrand and Lake Königssee was never actually built, the German Alpine Road now ends at the Hinterbrand car park. In the 1950s, the road was classified as a privately owned national road and a toll collection was introduced to justify and cover the costs incurred.
The Rossfeldhöhenringstrasse, today known as Rossfeld-Panoramastrasse, is approximately 16 kilometres long and has a maximum gradient of 13 %. Rising up to 1,560 metres above sea level, it is Germany's highest continuous, permanently accessible road.
For more information, please refer to the official website of the Rossfeld-Panoramastrasse.
The first motorcycle and car hill climbs took place on the steep and sandy track leading from Berchtesgaden to Obersalzberg as early as between 1925 and 1928. The Salzberg race attracted renowned racing drivers like Hans Stuck and Rudolf Caracciola, whose 1928 duel, for example, will live in our memories forever.
From 1958, the race on the Rossfeldstrasse near Berchtesgaden turned into an international competition for touring and grand touring cars as well as for sports and junior formula cars. In 1961, the race was included in the European Hill Climb Championship. Well-known racing drivers like Sepp Greger, Edgar Barth, Gerhard Mitter, Hans Herrmann, Rolf Stommelen and Johannes Ortner have won the International Alpine Mountain Award Rossfeld.
On 8 June 1968, Ludovico Scarfiotti, two-time European Hill Climb Champion, lost his life behind the wheel of his Porsche 910 Bergspyder in a training run at the Rossfeld.
The race was organised jointly by the Automotive Club of Germany (AvD) and the Berchtesgaden Automobilclub (BAC).
Ambitious private drivers, local motor sport aficionados included, started in various classes side by side with renowned factory-backed drivers sponsored by the major automobile manufacturers. From Porsche to Goggo, almost everything with four wheels was raced up the mountain road.
The locally produced Hartmann Spyder and junior formula cars, powerful and reliable vehicles that definitely found their fans, were a special feature of the event.
The energy crisis of 1973 put an end to the hill climbs and with them to one of the greatest spectator magnets in Berchtesgaden.
25 years later, Günter and Heidi Hansmann revived the spirit of the Rossfeld races. From 1998 to 2010, they organised the Rossfeld Historic, an event that also brought back the hill climbs to the Rossfeld – this time as regularity races, of course.