The Reichstag Building in Berlin was built in 1894 and was the meeting place of Germany’s national legislature until 1933. In 1999 the Reichstag Building once again became the permanent location for the legislature.
Currently it is one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks, it is located on the bank of the Spree River next to Teirgarten Park near Brandenburg Gate.
The building is impressive with massive stone columns, statues on the each corner and lots of details that make the building look worthy of housing German Parliament but the most iconic feature of the building is the glass dome in the center of the building.
The highlight of visiting the Reichstag Building is definitely the glass dome. Inside the glass dome is a spiral walkway that circles dome from the floor of the dome to the viewing deck at the top of the dome. The walkway provides views of Berlin to one side and views of mirrored light sculptor to the other side.
The tornado shaped column of mirrors is a unique modern sculptor that fits well with the design of the futuristic walkway but it actually is a functional light source that reflects sunlight down to the debating chamber below. As you can imagine, a large glass dome can make the room inside heat up. A motorized shield automatically moves around the mirrors to regulate the influx of light and heat.
Walking around a column of slanted mirrors kind of plays on your mind a little bit. If you look only at the mirrors it will give you the effect of having double or even triple vision.
At the top of the walkway is a viewing deck that sits on top of the mirrored column. The viewing deck has the same modern futuristic style with a circular sitting area and a round glass center.
The views of the Berlin can be seen from the walkway, the viewing deck or from the rooftop of the building. Some of Berlin landmarks that can be seen are the Spree River, Postdamer Platz, Museum Island, Teirgarten Park and Brandenburg Gate.
Visiting government buildings is not normally at the top of my list of places to visit on a vacation but visiting the Reichstag Building and Dome is a unique feature in Berlin and I think it is a “must see” activity when visiting Berlin. Plus it is free of charge!
When I plan a trip, I am always looking for places to see that are unlike any other place that I have been. The Reichstag Building Dome is absolutely unlike anything that I have seen. The tornado shaped sculpture of mirrors may have been designed for functionality but it is a one of a kind modern art piece that turns a government building into a must see tourist attraction.
Sometimes when buildings are restored the restoration is focused on reconstructing it exactly as the original but the Reichstag Dome is a modern addition to a historic building that makes the building feel updated without detracting from the original architecture.
“Visiting the Reichstag Building Dome was a fun experience. It had an energetic atmosphere that is unexpected for a government building.”