Reichstag/Parliament House +49 (0)30 22 62 99 33. Daily 8am-midnight; last admission at 10pm. Free.
When this seat of the German parliament burned in 1933, it was used as a excuse by Hitler’s troops to begin arresting enemies of the government. (It was built in 1893.) It was also bombed during World War II. Rebuilt and topped with a new glass dome, the building is once again the seat of parliament. As you walk the winding ramp up to the top of the Reichstag's dome, you'll enjoy a panoramic view of Berlin. The transparency of the glass symbolizes the transparency of the German state--when I visited, on a very cold October day, the windows were almost completely covered in frost at 9am. Michael Jackson had a big concert here on June 19, 1988, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude did a “Wrapped Reichstag Project for Berlin” in July 1995. To avoid the very long line, make a reservation in the roof-garden restaurant where views sweep from the dining room out over what used to be known as East Berlin.
NOTE: This building is currently closed to visitors due to tightened security related to terrorist threats.
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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers