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Reichstag (building)

historical edifice in Berlin, Germany

The Reichstag building was designed as a home to the parliament of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894. The original building's design was made by Paul Wallot. It was built on the site of an old palace in Berlin, Germany.

Reichstag
Berlin Reichstag BW 2.jpg
The Reichstag building. The words DEM DEUTSCHEN VOLKE – "To the German people" are written above the main entrance.
Reichstag (building) is located in Berlin
Reichstag (building)
Location within Berlin
General information
Town or cityBerlin
CountryGermany
Coordinates52°31′07″N 13°22′35″E / 52.5186°N 13.3763°E / 52.5186; 13.3763Coordinates: 52°31′07″N 13°22′35″E / 52.5186°N 13.3763°E / 52.5186; 13.3763
Construction started9 June 1884
Completed1894
Renovated1961–1964, 1992–1999
Height47 m (154 ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectPaul Wallot
Renovating team
ArchitectNorman Foster

The building was used by the parliament of the German Empire until 1918. The parliament of the Weimar Republic, also called the Reichstag sat there until the 1933 Reichstag fire. The Third Reich seldom used its parliament, so the building remained empty and derelict until after German reunification.

Then it became the seat of the German parliament again in 1999 after a reconstruction led by British architect Lord Norman Foster.

Today's parliament of Germany is called the Bundestag. The Reichstag as a parliament dates back to the Holy Roman Empire and ceased to act as a true parliament in the years of Nazi Germany (1933-1945). In today's usage, the German term Reichstag refers to the building, while the term Bundestag refers to the institution.

The Reichstag domeEdit

The original Reichstag dome was damaged in the 1933 fire and again during the war. It was replaced by a large glass dome. The new dome has a 360-degree view of the surrounding Berlin cityscape. The main hall of the parliament below can also be seen from inside the dome, and natural light from above emits down to the parliament floor. A large sun shield tracks the movement of the sun electronically and blocks direct sunlight which would make the space too hot and dazzle those below. Construction work was finished in 1999 and the seat of parliament was transferred to the Bundestag in April of that year. The dome is no longer open to anyone without prior registration.

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