At the word Reichstag, many probably have the memory of the film "Seventeen Moments of Spring", May 9, etc. But the Reichstag was not always associated with fascist Germany.
View of the Reichstag from the west, photo hbkost
The history of the construction of the Reichstag
The Reichstags building (Reichstagsgebäude) dates back to the time of the “Iron Chancellor” Otto von Bismarck. In 1871, Bismarck decided to erect a new building for parliament. But the place for the planned construction turned out to be on the land holdings of diplomat Duke Radzinsky. Mr. diplomat categorically refused to part with his property, which was given to him by Frederick William IV. After the death of Radzinsky, his heir son also showed persistence for a long time. Only in 1884 was the foundation stone finally laid by Kaiser Wilhelm I in the foundation of the future parliament. And 10 years later, it has already opened its doors to politicians. The Reichstag of the German Empire and the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic sat there.
On a February night of 1933, a heavy fire swept the building. The communists were accused of arson. The Nazis received emergency powers and dealt with political opponents. Mass arrests of people disliked by the government began. We can say that this fire put an end to democracy in Germany.
To the Führer, the Reichstag building probably resembled too much. It symbolized the past of Germany. And since he planned to build a completely different state, it was decided to build a new building, which was supposed to rise to a height of 290 meters. But World War II made adjustments. After the collapse of the Third Reich, the Reichstag remained in ruins for a long time. The dome of the building was badly damaged during the scandalous fire, and the bombing brought it to complete destruction.
Reichstag building, 1945
The authorities thought for a long time about what to do next with the building and decided: to blow up what was left of it. This was done in 1954. But the debate over the Reichstag continued further. Some politicians claimed that the building was not to blame for historical conflicts, and that Hitler had never spoken in it. To resolve all disputes, it took three referenda, the result of which was the decision to restore the Reichstag.
Reichstag at night, photo by Ansgar Koreng
Upon completion of the restoration and reconstruction in 1972, the Reichstag building began to use the German Historical Institute. It housed the exhibition "Questions of German History", which operated for the next 20 years.
Foster Dome, photo by Johannes
The Reichstag, which today accepts tourists, has gained its appearance thanks to the British architect Norman Foster. He won the contest for the next necessary reconstruction of the building. Initially, the project was conceived without a dome, but then Foster realized that such a design would “understate” the idea that the dome always symbolized - German statehood. So the famous Foster dome appeared.
Inside the dome, photo by Seiji Nishijima
Its diameter is 40 m, height - 23.5 m, and weighs 1,200 tons, of which 700 tons of weight falls on steel structures. The dome is equipped with an observation platform so that being on it, you can observe what is happening in the meeting room and see a circular panorama of the city.
Reichstags (Reichstagsgebäude), photo by Andy
Norman Foster for his embodied project received the most prestigious "architectural" award, equivalent to the Nobel Prize. And Germany, in gratitude, presented him with the highest award in the field of art - the Order of Merit.
The updated Reichstag officially opened on April 19, 1999.
Conference Room Photo Times
The building of the Reichstag guided tours. You will see where the German Bundestag is sitting, go up to the dome. The dome can only be reached by appointment on the Bundestag website.
How to get there
Take the S1 or S2 underground to the Brandenburger Tor station.
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