One of the first things we did after we arrived in Berlin in June 2008 was head straight to the Reichstag in the center of Berlin.
The word Reichstag means to “connote a diet (or assembly),” thus the Reichstag was built in 1894 to house the German diet. It was used for this purpose until it was badly damaged in a fire in 1933 one month after Hitler was elected as Chancellor. Known as the “Reichstag fire,” this was a pivotal moment in the Nazi Party taking over Germany. They instilled fear in the German people that this was the work of communists trying to overthrow the German government and that Germany needed to be protected (note to my fellow Americans: don’t let this succeed here).
After the fire in 1933, the Nazis abandoned the building and it remained abandoned until communism fell and the reconstruction began after Germany was unified again in 1990 (by architect Norman Foster). After it was completed, it was once again the meeting place of the Germany assembly and continues to be to this day.
Today tourists can view Berlin from the the top of the dome in the Reichstag and it’s worth waiting in line for! Here are some semi-blurry photos that I took in 2008.
The spiral walk way up to the top (left) and the view down into the house of parliament (right).
Berlin from almost the top!
The sunset view of the top of the Reichstag.