Lake Toplitz

Lake Toplitz

lake_name = Lake Toplitz
image_lake = Toplitzsee.jpg
caption_lake =
image_bathymetry =
caption_bathymetry =
location = Salzkammergut
coords = coord|47|38|30|N|13|55|40|E|type:waterbody_region:AT|display=inline,title
type =
inflow =
outflow = Toplitz
catchment =
basin_countries = Austria
length = 2 km
width = 400 m
area =
depth =
max-depth = 103 m
volume =
residence_time =
shore =
elevation = 718 m
islands =
cities =

Lake Toplitz (German: "Toplitzsee") is a lake situated in a dense mountain forest high up in the Austrian Alps, 98 km (60 miles) from Salzburg in western Austria. It is surrounded by cliffs and forests in the picturesque Salzkammergut lake district within the Totes Gebirge, or dead mountains. After a depth of 20m, the Toplitzsee water contains no oxygen. Fish can survive only in the top 18m, as the water below 20m is salty. Bacteria and worms have been found that can live without oxygen.

It is believed that the lake holds evidence of the past misdeeds of Germany in World War II. Supposedly, the Nazis stashed in the lake vast quantities of gold and other priceless plunder, including the lost panels from Russia’s Amber Room, as well as documents detailing the whereabouts of other Third Reich caches. Using copper diaphragms, scientists experimented with different explosives, detonating up to 4,000 kg charges at various depths. They also fired torpedoes from a launching pad in the lake into the Tote Mountains, producing vast holes in the canyon walls. Millions of counterfeit pound sterling notes (100+ million) were dumped in the lake as a cover-up act after a strategy called Operation Bernhard was never fully put into action. These rumors have lured treasure hunters into the lake's depths, some to their death.

During the war, in 1943-44, the shore of Lake Toplitz served as home to a Nazi naval testing station. The area is accessible only on foot by a mile-long path, as the K-Mautner-Weg is a private road that serves the Fisherman's Hut restaurant at the west end, owned by the Syen Family. It is illegal to dive into the lake. Previously people had ventured to Lake Toplitz in the hope of finding treasures, but many have died in the dark lake that holds so many mysteries.

External links

* [ Austrian Tourism Site, with English Section]
* [ Lake Toplitz News -- Hitler's Third Reich and World War II]
* [ Treasure in the Toplitzsee]
* [ Fisherman´s Hut restaurant]
* [ History]

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