"The Heart of Germany" Reichstag Tip by nicolaitan
Reichstag, Berlin: 189 reviews and 335 photos
The Reichstag is the home of the Bundestag, Germany's democratically elected Parliament, and the most visited government building in the world with over 3 million visitors per year. After formation of the German Empire in 1872, the nation needed a larger building to house the enlarged Parliament, but choice of architect and building, along with political infighting, delayed construction and opening until 1894. The phrase Dem Deutsche Volke was added to the facade in 1916 against the objections of Wilhelm II, the Prussian monarch. The infamous Reichstag fire of 28 Feb 1933 blamed on Communists allowed the Nazi Party to pass new laws basically outlawing opposition and other political parties, gaining total control. Hitler hated the Parliament of the Weimar Republic but allowed the Reichstag to stand because he liked the classic architectural form. After war destruction, the division of Germany precluded full reconstruction because the German Parliament was housed in Bonn but after reunification a full rebuilding complete with the famous glass dome to plans by British architect Sir Norman Forster. Since 1999, the German Parliament has again occupied this famous building.
Admission lines exceed thirty minutes from early morning till mid evening, usually shortest very early in the AM and during the dinner hour when we waited only 30 minutes. Security is tight. Elevators wisk visitors to the base of the glass dome and a large open area on the roof allowing clear vistas of Berlin in all directions. German flags fly impressively from the towers.
Access to the chambers was not possible at the time of our visit. One way to beat the lines, but not cheap, is to reserve a place at the dome level restaurant which appeared popular and quite upscale.
Address: Platz der Republik, Berlin-Tiergarten
Directions: Bus 100
Phone: 22 73 21 52
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