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Reichstag's Cupola | by Alberto Sánchez Mena
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Reichstag's Cupola

The Reichstag building is a historical edifice in Berlin, Germany, constructed to house the Reichstag, parliament of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894 and housed the Reichstag until 1933, when it was severely damaged in a fire supposedly set by Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe. During the Nazi era, the few meetings of members of the Reichstag as a group were held in the Kroll Opera House. After the Second World War the Reichstag building fell into disuse as the parliament of the German Democratic Republic met in the Palace of the Republic in East Berlin and the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany met in the Bundeshaus in Bonn.

The building was made safe against the elements and partially refurbished in the 1960s, but no attempt at full restoration was made until after the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990, when it underwent reconstruction led by internationally renowned architect Norman Foster. After its completion in 1999, it became the meeting place of the modern German parliament, the Bundestag.

The Reichstag as a parliament dates back to the Holy Roman Empire and ceased to act as a true parliament in the years of the Nazi regime (1933–1945). In today's usage, the German term Reichstag or Reichstagsgebäude (Reichstag building) refers to the building, while the term Bundestag refers to the institution.

 

In 1992, 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.

  

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Taken on July 19, 2010