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Reichstag's Architecture | Discover the Design Behind Germany's Parliamentary Building

BerlinReichstagArchitecture

The Reichstag stands tall, not only as a proud symbol of German democracy but also as a fine specimen of Neo-classical German architecture. In over a century, the Reichstag has been built, burnt, and rebuilt, making it all the more interesting to the eye of an architecture enthusiast. With its latest modern additions, read on to find out how the architecture and design of the Reichstag have evolved through the century.  

Architecture & Design of Reichstag | Quick Overview

Reichstag Architecture

Official Name:  Reichstag/Bundestag

Status/Function: German Parliament

Location: Platz der Republik 1, Berlin, Germany

Founded: 1894

Area: 61,166 sq meters (area), 47 meters (height), 40 meters (dome diameter)

Architectural Style: Neo-classical, Neo-Renaissance, Baroque

Main Architects: Paul Wallot, Norman Foster (Dome)

Reichstag Architecture & Design

Reichstag Architecture

An amalgam of historical and modern architectural styles, the Reichstag displays both elements of the late 19th-century neo-Renaissance style through its historic facades and sculptures and a modern touch with its intricate glass dome that offers a bird's eye view of the city.  The building’s hosting of both the historic and the modern has come to symbolize its resilience towards a tumultuous past and perseverance towards the future. It also houses Germany’s rich history and its current democratic values.

Who Designed Reichstag?

The original architect of the Reichstag building was Paul Wallot, a German architect who designed the historic facade of the building. The renovation of the Reichstag after reunification was carried out by the British architect Sir Norman Foster, who designed the iconic glass dome.

Structure of Reichstag

Reichstag Architecture

The Reichstag building is primarily constructed using steel, glass, and concrete materials. The glass dome is made of fireproof glass, allowing natural light to enter while ensuring safety. The building's structure is designed to be energy-efficient, with features such as solar panels and natural ventilation systems. The spiral ramp inside the building is made of steel and provides a unique and functional element to the overall structure. The Reichstag's architecture and materials are used to showcase a combination of modern construction techniques and sustainable design principles.

Architectural Highlights of Reichstag

Reichstag Architecture

Glass Dome

One of the most prominent architectural features of the building, the dome was designed by Sir Norman Foster. Made of 3,000 glass panels it offers panoramic views of Berlin and also stands for the transparency and openness of the German government.

Reichstag Architecture

Facade

Designed by Paul Wallot, the historical facade features elaborate sculptures, reliefs, and decorative elements that reflect the neo-Renaissance architectural style of the late 19th century.

Reichstag Architecture

Sustainable Design

The Reichstag's design incorporates various energy-efficient features, such as solar panels, natural ventilation systems, and rainwater harvesting, making it an exemplary model of sustainable architecture.

Reichstag Architecture

Spiral Ramp:

The Reichstag features a spiral ramp that leads visitors from the ground floor to the top of the glass dome, providing a unique and immersive experience as they ascend through the building while enjoying panoramic views of the city.

Reichstag Architecture

Plenary Chamber

The plenary chamber of the Reichstag is equipped with an innovative lighting system that allows natural daylight to penetrate into the chamber, creating a unique and dynamic atmosphere during parliamentary sessions.

Reichstag Architecture

Inner Courtyard

Completed with the historic facade and the modern glass dome, the inner courtyard offers a tranquil escape from the bustling government complex




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English or German Guided Tour of the Reichstag Building
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Around and into the Reichstag Tour
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Frequently Asked Questions about Reichstag’s Architecture

Q. What is the Reichstag architectural style?

A. The Reichstag sports an amalgamation of Neo-Classical, Neo-Renaissance, Baroque and modern architectural styles.

Q. Who designed Reichstag?

A. The Reichstag building was designed by German architect Paul Wallot.

Q. Why is the Reichstag architecture famous?

A. The Reichstag architecture is famous for its historic significance as the seat of the German Parliament, its iconic dome, and its role as a symbol of democracy in Germany. 

Q. When was Reichstag built?

A. The construction of the Reichstag building started in 1884 and was completed in 1894.

Q. How old is Reichstag?

A. The Reichstag building is over 120 years old, having been completed in 1894.

Q. What’s inside Reichstag?

A. The Reichstag building houses the German Parliament, known as the Bundestag, and features modern parliamentary facilities, meeting rooms, and a public rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Berlin.

Q. How big is Reichstag?

A. The Reichstag building has a total floor area of around 61,166 square meters. 

Q. What are the dimensions of Reichstag?

A. The Reichstag building has a length of 137 meters, a width of 97 meters, and a height of 47 meters, with its dome reaching a height of 23.5 meters. 

Q. What is Reichstag made out of?

A. The Reichstag building is primarily made out of steel, glass, and stone, with a glass dome that provides natural light to the building's interior.