Located in the close vicinity of the Brandenburg Gate, it was originally opened in 1894, housing the Reichstag (the Parliament of the German Empire) until 1933 when it was damaged by a fire left unsolved to this day. It benefited from limited renovations since this time and was, thus, largely unused expect for military reasons during the Second World War.
Perceived as a building of great symbolic value, it also suffered further destruction from the Soviet army air raids, until being finally captured in 1945 in the Battle of Berlin. Graffiti made by the Soviet soldiers during this period can still be observed on some of the outer walls. These were intentionally unaltered in the late 1990s when the building was completely restored following the plans of architect Norman Foster.
Because of the extensive damage and the lack of restoration efforts in over six decades, the building that can be seen nowadays only retains the original outer walls, while most of the inner construction has been rebuilt using modern materials such as glass. Although the building is the scene for Parliament meetings, tourists can visit the dome situated on top of the building all year round. The glass dome offering its visitors a 360 degree panorama of central Berlin, is intended as a replica of the cupola present in the original construction. The view is spectacular regardless of the time of day you choose to go there, while the architectural style is brilliant. As I have mentioned in my tour of Berlin that can be read here or here, its history and location makes this edifice a must see for anyone who comes to Berlin. But don’t forget to make a reservation a couple of days prior to your visit on the Bundestag website here. Oh, and don’t forget to pack your camera, the view outside as well as inside is spectacular and you will get some amazing photos with as little effort as possible.