Center of all Germany – the Reichstag
A symbolic building that reflects all of German modern historyFebruary 04th, 2015
Of all the historic buildings in Berlin, one stands out above the rest. Its importance throughout German history in modern times is enormous. The Reichstag was built in 1894 and since then it remains a symbol of the German nation. Today the building and the Parliament, which has its sessions inside have become a synonym for outstanding the dictatorship in any form and ruling in a democratic way, giving an example for people all around the world.
Many legends surround the construction of this building. One of legend says that when Kaiser Wilhelm I was laying the foundation stone he needed three attempts in order lay it successful. And when he was using the tool, it cracked. The Kaiser didn’t like the building and what it was going to represent. Consequently, he probably didn’t mind that the building got off to such a rocky start.
Although it had a rough start, the Reichstag was the epicenter for future turbulence in German history. On 9 November 1918, Deputy Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed from the window the creation of a German Republic. On 27 February 1933, under mysterious circumstances that still have yet to be explained, the Reichstag caught on fire, destroying the chamber and the dome. The Reichstag fire served as a pretext for the Nazi regime to persecute their political opponents.
After the war the building was restored, but in a simplified form – without the dome. It served as a seat of the Parliament only after the reunification of Germany in 1990. From 1994 to 1999 the building was expanded and redesigned by the British architect Sir Norman Foster. The accessible glass dome was added. Although initially the cause of many disputes, the dome has since become one of the landmarks of Berlin.
Everyone can visit the dome and have a guided tour inside the building, but a booking in advance is required.