VolkskammerReichstag of the German Empire. It was opened in and housed the Diet untilwhen it was severely damaged after being set on fire. The ruined building was made safe against the elements and partially refurbished in the s, but no attempt at full restoration was made until after German reunification on 3 Octoberwhen it underwent a reconstruction builidng by architect Norman Foster. After its completion init once east german parliament building became the meeting place of the German parliament: The term Reichstagwhen used east german parliament building connote a dietdates back to the Holy Roman Empire.
Reichstag building - Wikipedia
Reichstag of the German Empire. It was opened in and housed the Diet until , when it was severely damaged after being set on fire. The ruined building was made safe against the elements and partially refurbished in the s, but no attempt at full restoration was made until after German reunification on 3 October , when it underwent a reconstruction led by architect Norman Foster. After its completion in , it once again became the meeting place of the German parliament: The term Reichstag , when used to connote a diet , dates back to the Holy Roman Empire.
The building was built for the Diet of the German Empire , which was succeeded by the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. The latter would become the Reichstag of Nazi Germany , which left the building and ceased to act as a parliament after the fire and never returned ; the term Reichstag has not been used by German parliaments since World War II. In today's usage, the word Reichstag Imperial Diet Building refers mainly to the building, while Bundestag Federal Diet refers to the institution.
Construction of the building began well after the unification of Germany in Work did not start until ten years later though, owing to various problems with purchasing the property and arguments between Wilhelm I , Otto von Bismarck , and the members of the Reichstag about how the construction should be performed. In , another architectural contest was held, with architects participating. This time the winner, the Frankfurt architect Paul Wallot , would actually see his Neo-Baroque project executed.
The direct model for Wallot's design was Philadelphia's Memorial Hall , the main building of the Centennial Exhibition. Before construction was completed by Philipp Holzmann A.
His eventual successor, Wilhelm II , took a more jaundiced view of parliamentary democracy than his grandfather. The original building was acclaimed for the construction of an original cupola of steel and glass, considered an engineering feat at the time. But its mixture of architectural styles drew widespread criticism.
After World War I had ended and Wilhelm had abdicated , during the revolutionary days of , Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed the institution of a republic from one of the balconies of the Reichstag building on 9 November. The building continued to be the seat of the parliament of the Weimar Republic — , which was still called the Reichstag. The building caught fire on 27 February , under circumstances still not entirely known. This gave a pretext for the Nazis to suspend most rights provided for by the Weimar Constitution in the Reichstag Fire Decree, allowing them to arrest Communists and increase police action throughout Germany.
The burning of Reichstag had also created fear in the capitalists US and west European states of rise of communism in Germany. This furthered their Policy of Appeasement towards Hitler who had portrayed himself as anti-Communist. During the 12 years of Nazi rule, the Reichstag building was not used for parliamentary sessions. Instead, the few times that the Reichstag convened at all, it did so in the Kroll Opera House , opposite the Reichstag building. This applied particularly to the session of 23 March , in which the Reichstag surrendered its powers to Adolf Hitler in the Enabling Act , another step in the so-called Gleichschaltung "coordination".
The main meeting hall of the building which was unusable after the fire was instead used for propaganda presentations and, during World War II , for military purposes. It was also considered for conversion to a flak tower but was found to be structurally unsuitable. The building, never fully repaired after the fire, was further damaged by air raids.
During the Battle of Berlin in , it became one of the central targets for the Red Army to capture, due to its perceived symbolic significance. Today, visitors to the building can still see Soviet graffiti on smoky walls inside as well as on part of the roof, which was preserved during the reconstructions after reunification.
When the Cold War emerged, the building was physically within West Berlin , but only a few metres from the border of East Berlin , which ran around the back of the building and in was closed by the Berlin Wall. After the war, the building was essentially a ruin. In addition, there was no real use for it, since the seat of government of West Germany had been established in Bonn in Still, in , after some debate, the West German government decided that the Reichstag should not be torn down, but be restored instead.
However, the cupola of the original building, which had also been heavily damaged in the war, was demolished. Another architectural contest was held, and the winner, Paul Baumgarten , reconstructed the building from to He removed all sumptuous heraldic statues, monuments, decorations, and the like that harked back to the mythology of the German past from the inside, and also the largest ones on the outside of the building.
In effect, he created a plain building inside the historic Reichstag, retaining only the outer walls stripped of most of their statues and decoration. The artistic and practical value of his work was the subject of much debate after German reunification.
This prohibition was obeyed even though East Germany had declared East Berlin its capital , violating this provision. Until , the building was thus used only for occasional representative meetings, and one-off events. It was also used for a widely lauded permanent exhibition about German history called Fragen an die deutsche Geschichte "Questions about German history".
The event included huge firework displays [ citation needed ]. One day later, the parliament of the united Germany would assemble in an act of symbolism in the Reichstag building. However, at that time, the role of Berlin had not yet been decided upon.
Only after a fierce debate, considered by many as one of the most memorable sessions of parliament, did the Bundestag conclude, on 20 June , with quite a slim majority in favour of both government and parliament returning to Berlin from Bonn.
In , Norman Foster won yet another architectural contest for the reconstruction of the building. His winning concept looked very different from what was later executed.
Notably, the original design did not include a cupola. Before reconstruction began, the Reichstag was wrapped by the Bulgarian-American artist Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude in , attracting millions of visitors. During the reconstruction, the building was first almost completely gutted, taking out everything except the outer walls, including all changes made by Baumgarten in the s.
Respect for the historic aspects of the building was one of the conditions stipulated to the architects, so traces of historical events were to be retained in a visible state. Among them were graffiti left by Soviet soldiers after the final battle for Berlin in April—May Written in Cyrillic script, they include such slogans as "Hitler kaputt" and names of individual soldiers.
However, graffiti with racist or sexist themes were removed, in agreement with Russian diplomats at the time. The reconstruction was completed in , with the Bundestag convening there officially for the first time on 19 April of that year. The large glass dome at the very top of the Reichstag has a degree view of the surrounding Berlin cityscape.
The main hall debating chamber of the parliament below can also be seen from inside the dome, and natural light from above radiates down to the parliament floor. A large sun shield tracks the movement of the sun electronically and blocks direct sunlight which would not only cause large solar gain, but dazzle those below. Construction work was finished in and the seat of parliament was transferred to the Bundestag in April of that year.
The dome is open to visitors by prior registration. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the building in Berlin, Germany. For other uses, see Reichstag disambiguation. The dedication Dem deutschen Volke , meaning To the German people , can be seen on the frieze. Reichstag building, constitution celebration, 11 August This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations.
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