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Reichstag, Berlin


The Reichstag building in Berlin was constructed to house the Reichstag, the original parliament of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894 and housed the Reichstag until 1933. It again became the seat of the German parliament in 1999 after a reconstruction led by internationally renowned architect Norman Foster.

Today's parliament of Germany is called 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 Nazi Germany (1933-1945). In today's usage, the German term Reichstag refers to the building, while the term Bundestag refers to the institution.

Construction of the building began only well after 1871. Previously, the parliament had assembled in several other buildings in the Leipziger Straße in Berlin; but these were generally considered too small, so in 1872 an architectural contest with 103 participating architects was carried out to erect an all-new building. Work did not start until ten years later though, due to various problems with purchasing property for the new building and arguments between Wilhelm I, Otto von Bismarck, and the members of the Reichstag about how the construction should be performed.

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