Der Walchensee is one of the deepest and largest alpine lakes in Germany, with a depth of 192 m. It’s located 75 km from München in the Bavarian Alps. The entire lake, incl. the island of Sassau, lies within the municipality of Kochel. Due to its location in a valley, the lake is protected from northern and eastern winds. The low mountains to the south let in the optimal amount of sunlight, giving the area a milder climate than one might expect. During the summer months, heat on the south side creates strong thermals. When they carry saturated air masses high and those mix with air from the more northerly Kochelsee, it can lead to particularly violent thunderstorms. The wealth of fish in the lake led the monasteries of Benediktbeuern and Schlehdorf to claim Walchensee by the year 740 AD. They owned it until secularization in 1803; today the state of Bayern owns it.
In April 1945 the Wehrmacht and officials of the Reichsbank approved a plan to store part of the German Reichsbank reserves at Einsiedl, a small town on the southwest shore. Subsequently, the assets were buried in an undisclosed location in the crags above the Obernach power plant. They consisted of 365 sacks, each with gold bars, envelopes with gold documents, crates of gold, bags of gold coins, boxes of Danish coins, and 94 sacks of other foreign currency, mainly US Dollars and Swiss Francs. In June 1945, the treasure was handed over to the Allies - but 100 gold bars and all the US Dollars and Swiss Francs were missing. Possibly there are other hoards, where valuables such as other currencies or gemstones were hidden. Even today, speculation continues about the existence and exact location of such caches. (Are you ready to go diving? :D) Since the 1950s, Walchensee has become a popular destination for day trips from Munich and other Bavarian cities. The local population now lives primarily from tourism.