Photos: Visiting the Reichstag

Berlin Subway

The U-Bahn ride from our campground into downtown Berlin


Berlin Hauptbahnhof

Berlin’s modern Hauptbahnhof, completely rebuilt after WWII

 

Reichstag, Berlin

Reichstag, Berlin. Though the building itself was completed in 1894, the inscription (“To the German people”) was only added by a reluctant Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1916. It was too democratic sounding for his taste.

 

Reichstag, Berlin

Reichstag, Berlin. Partially destroyed before and during WWII, it wasn’t completely rebuilt until 1992, after unification and once the Bundestag had decided Berlin’s role in a unified Germany.


Reichstag Dome, Berlin

The famous Reichstag dome. The building’s original dome burnt down in 1933 and wasn’t replaced until 1993, 60 years later. It’s a modern glass structure that symbolizes transparency in government and the new, forward-thinking Germany. That’s Scout wearing her audio-guide and required ID badge.

 

Reichstag Dome, Berlin

The Reichstag Dome is environmentally friendly. The mirrors in the center reflect sunlight down into the Bundestag, or German parliament. That big screen on the right is a sun shade, which moves throughout the day and diffuses the light coming into the building.

 

Climbing to the top. You can walk all the way to the top on one side of the double-helix staircase and back down on the other side. The audio-guides play automatically at key points along the way, which was great for me, because I’m always pressing the wrong button on those things.

 

German Parliament, 1931

Bundestag after the 1932 Federal elections. I snapped a picture of this photo displayed in the dome, mainly because I loved the funk-tastic mustache on the guy on the right.

 

Reichstag victim

After visiting the Reichstag. Hang in there, Sweetie! Only 11 months to go.

IF YOU WANT TO VISIT THE REICHSTAG DOME

This is really important. If you’re ever in Berlin and want to visit the Reichstag dome and/or sit in on a Bundestag session, you must pre-register online (with your name, passport number, birthday and other personal information) several days in advance. Otherwise you won’t be allowed in no matter how desperately you plead to the stony guards, who’ve heard it all before and dispatch pathetic un-registered losers like you hundreds of times a day. Dozens of disappointed people were turned away just during the few minutes it took us to check in.

Our awesome German friend, Berni, clued us in to this and then used his iPhone to register us while we were all out to dinner, bless him, so we were among the lucky ones able to get in.

HOW TO REGISTER TO VISIT THE REICHSTAG DOME

Just click here!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Ippels June 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Hi guys!! Thanks for the update, we’re loving your adventures so far, can’t wait to find out what you’re up to next! Apple turnovers for breakfast – you lucky ducks! Love the first & last pics of Scout here – very apt!

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2 Renee June 28, 2011 at 7:09 am

Thanks Tina. Scout was beat by the time we we re done, that’s for sure. And that first one is one of my favorite photos so far.

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3 Bridgette Booth June 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Love the photos! I’m curious, though, why there is such strict security around the Reichstag Dome? Is that common, like in D.C., or unusual?

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4 Renee June 17, 2011 at 5:54 am

Bridgette, it’s standard anti-terrorism D.C.-type security. A few years ago they would check you out right there when you bought your ticket, but the lines were fierce, so now they just have everyone do it ahead of time online. The system works well, as long as people do their research ahead of time and are aware of that requirement. We had a lot of internet problems and very little access during the first month of the trip, so we were fortunate that our friend handled the whole thing for us at dinner (on his iPhone.)

My heart went out to all the folks who just showed up assuming they’d get in.

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