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Location Nationalpark Berchtesgaden, Bavaria
Coordinates 47°29′37″N 12°56′21″E / 47.49361°N 12.93917°E / 47.49361; 12.93917Coordinates: 47°29′37″N 12°56′21″E / 47.49361°N 12.93917°E / 47.49361; 12.93917
Primary inflows Stuhlgraben, Rennergraben
Primary outflows Teufelsmühle (subterrean)
Catchment area ca. 10 km2 (3.9 sq mi)
Basin countries Germany
Max. length 233 m (764 ft)
Max. width 152 m (499 ft)
Surface area 3.5 ha (8.6 acres)
Average depth 2.50 to 3 m (8.2 to 9.8 ft)
Max. depth 5.30 m (17.4 ft)
Water volume 100,000 m3 (3,500,000 cu ft)
Shore length1 0.78 km (0.48 mi)
Surface elevation 1,601 m (5,253 ft)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Funtensee is a lake in the Steinernes Meer plateau in the Nationalpark Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany located on the larger of the two sinkholes of the uvala,[1] known for record low temperatures up to 30 °C (54 °F) lower than the surrounding area.[2] Its primary inflows are the Steingraben, Stuhlgraben and Rennergraben.[1]


North shore with Kärlingerhaus

At an elevation of 1601 m, its surface area is 3.5 ha. Its outflow toward the Schrainbach is subterranean at a location called Teufelsmühle. On its shore is the Kärlinger Haus mountain hut which is open for the summer season; in addition, there is a winter room available. The valley is surrounded by Viehkogel (2,158m), Glunkerer, (1,932m) and Stuhljoch (2,448m)[3] which leads to the Funtenseetauern mountain (2,578m), named after the lake.


Earliest evidence of use of the area for grazing can be traced to ca 1604-1619.[3] Around 1870 there is evidence of eight active Kaser (living quarters/stables) causing concerns of overgrazing.[1] The Funtenseealm was active through 1964.[3]


Known as the coldest spot in Germany, the lake is the site where the country's record lowest temperature, −45.9 °C (-50.6 °F),[4][5][6] was recorded on 24 December 2001. It is theorised that due to the unique situation of trapped cold air, a temperature of -55 °C (-67 °F) is possible.[7] The extreme cold spot at the lake is said to result in a reverse tree line, as no trees can grow at any point below about 60m above the lake,[6] although studies have found that it was the result of overgrazing animals.[3] Temperatures are regularly monitored by a private weather station installed by Jörg Kachelmann.[8]


The noise of the water disappearing underground has led to local folklore and the naming of the outflowpoint Teufelsmühle[9] (Devil's Mill or Devil's Grinder). The exact route the water takes underground has not yet been established and an extensive cave has not been ruled out but the outflow point is not accessible to humans to investigate.[1]

See also[edit]