Maps & Charts
building in Berlin that was formerly the meeting place of Germany's national
legislature. One of Berlin's most famous landmarks, it is situated at the northern end of
the Erberstrasse and near the south bank of the Spree River. Tiergarten Park is directly
west of the building, and the Brandenburg Gate is to the south.
The Neo-Renaissance building was designed by Paul Wallot and was completed in
1894. It was the home of the Reichstag ("Imperial Diet") from 1894 to 1933, seating
the assemblies of the German Empire (1871-1918) and the Weimar Republic
(1919-33). A fire at the Reichstag on Feb. 27, 1933, triggered events that led to Adolf
Hitler's assumption of dictatorial powers in Germany. The disused building sustained
additional damage from Allied bombing during World War II and in later years. By the
1970s it had undergone partial restoration and became a museum of German history.
More extensive restoration and renovation took place after the reunification of West
and East Germany in 1990, though the glass dome that was once the building's most
recognizable feature has not been rebuilt. On Oct. 4, 1990, the Bundestag ("Federal
Assembly") of the newly reunified German state met for the first time in the
Reichstag. It is planned to permanently move the Bundestag into the building by the
end of the 20th century.The building was wrapped in silver fabric by the site artist
Christo in June 1996.
"Reichstag" Encyclopædia Britannica Online.