The Reichstag - Reichstag is worth a visit

Rigsdagen i Berlin
The German Reichstag in Berlin, photo: Stefan Schievelbein

The Reichstag - the Reichstag in Danish - is the gathering place of the German government, the Bundestag / Bundestag. The building dates from 1894, but suffered much damage during a major fire in 1933. The restoration started after the association in 1990 and was completed in 1999.

During the summer period, it may well be worthwhile to arrive well in advance, because there can be a REALLY long queue. Is the weather good that it is not the big problem, because there is plenty of space and a nice view - but it is really tiring to stand in line in the rain…

Another good reason to go to the Reichstag on a sunny day is the many mirrors in the dome. So they come best to their dish in glorious sunshine!

As a tourist, the interesting points are the roof terrace and the large glass dome that provides a 360 degree view over Berlin. The pillar in the middle is full of reflective plates and sends daylight down into the government hall itself. The dome is designed by Sir Norman Foster. You may be provided with an audio in several different languages.

And let me warn you once again about the queue, which can be up to two hours waiting to enter. Whether it is worth the time must be up to the individual to assess, but if you arrive early, you may be able to make do with a 15-30min waiting time - and it is definitely worth it!

Access is usually open from 8 am to midnight - however, the entrance closes at 22.

The story behind the Reichstag

The original building dates from 1894 and the Reichstag (German parliament) held its meetings there until 1933, when the building was badly damaged in a fire. After World War II, the building had no purpose, as the two districts, East Berlin and West Berlin, each had their own parliament building.

After the reunification of Germany, a major restoration work was started in an attempt to bring the building back to its former greatness. But instead of just leading the building back to its original design, it was updated to a modern design by internationally acclaimed architect Norman Forster. After the building was completed in 1999, it became the seat of the German government again, the Bundestag.

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