Reichstag Dome
Platz der Republik 1

Norman Foster 1999

As well as being gutted by fire, the former home of German democracy was further damaged during Allied bombing of Berlin in World War II. It was left in this run-down state until the 1960s, when it was opened as a conference center. The Reichstag was the site of the German reunification ceremonies at midnight on October 2, 1990.

Foster and Partners won a commission in 1992 to transform the building into the new home for the unified German Parliament. The Foster team's design focuses on making the processes of government more transparent.

Foster's dome is a gleaming metal and glass structure with a ramp that spirals up a to a roof terrace with 360-degree views of central Berlin. The dome overlooks the debating chamber for the Bundestag and a central mirrored cone draws light into the plenary chamber. The design also preserves remnants of the building's colorful past, including graffiti left by the Red Army in 1945.

Foster was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1999 for his work on the building, which has become one of the top tourist destinations in Berlin.

The Reichstag design strongly influenced Foster's City Hall in London.

Jess Wendover 2003

How to visit

The Reichstag is located on Platz der Republik, along the Spree River, just north of Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor). The nearest S-Bahn stops are Friedrichstrasse or Unter den Linden, and the U-Bahn stops at Friedrichstrasse.

Access to the dome and roof terrace

The dome and roof terrace are open and free of charge to the public. Enter at the West entrance to the building, off Platz der Republik. The building is very popular, so sometimes a visit involves waiting in line, and it's advisable to arrive early in the day. The dome and terrace are open daily (except Christmas Eve and New Year's Day) from 8 a.m. to midnight (last admission at 10 p.m.).

The roof terrace restaurant is open from 8 a.m. to midnight. It is advisable to reserve a table in advance, especially for dinner (tel +49 30 22 62 99 33).

Access to the rest of the building

You can make appointments for a complete tour of the building, but reservations must be made several months in advance. Call 
+49 30 22 73 21 52 or fax +49 30 22 73 00 27.

Books and other web sites

Click the book titles to view and to order direct from


Rebuilding the Reichstag
Norman Foster and David Jenkins

A substantial but very well reviewed account of the building by the architect - see excerpts at Amazon.


The Reichstag: Sir Norman Foster's Parliament Building
Bernhard Schulz and Norman Foster


Reichstag Graffiti
Norman Foster, Frederick Baker, Deborah Lipstadt

Essays by Foster and others on the Soviet graffiti preserved in the Reichstag as part of this scheme.


Further visitor information is buried within the Reichstag's website at Select 'home', then the UK flag, then 'visit us' to find it.

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