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Reichstag Plenary Chamber

The democratic process is carried out, and laws are made in the plenary chamber situated in the Reichstag. 

Reichstag has had an on-and-off time over history as the building serves as the parliament of Germany.

It was established under Emperor Wilhelm I, who wanted it to be a place of parliamentary democracy.

His grandson, Emperor Wilhelm II, was less fond of the concept. 

The parliamentary work took place in the building until it was burnt in the Reichstag fire of 1933, after which it was not used as parliament until the reunification of Germany.

In 1991, the members of parliament decided that the Reichstag would return to being the parliamentary building via vote. 

Those in favor won marginally by 18 votes against those opposed.

Norman Foster then renovated the building and has served as the German parliament since, with meetings in the plenary chamber.

The Reichstag plenary chamber is right below the ravishing glass dome, providing abundant natural light and proper ventilation.

You can tour the plenary chamber when the parliament is not in session to receive a lecture about German political history, the functioning of government, the methods and composition of parliament and the history and architecture of Reichstag. 

Here are some guided tours you can take, which include the Reichstag plenary chamber and much more:

Tour NamePrice
Berlin: Government Quarter Tour and Reichstag Dome Visit€16
Berlin: Reichstag, Plenary Chamber, Cupola and Government Tour€14
Berlin: Plenary Chamber, Dome and Government District Tour€16

There are some points that you must remember before visiting the Reichstag plenary chamber or other places on tour:

  • The meeting point of these guided tours may not always be at the building. Some might assemble at the Bundestag subway station or anywhere near the building.
  • The building authorities may cancel the tour without notice. These canceled tours usually get rescheduled or refunded.
  • Some tours require a strong knowledge of the German language. Do not book them if you don’t know German. Check for English or the language of your choosing while booking the tours. Usually, tours are available in other languages too.
  • Visiting the dome is free of cost.
  • Carry identification documents with you when you visit.
  • Provide correct information while registering or booking your tickets, as mistakes in first name, last name or date of birth can lead to the authorities denying your registration request on security grounds.

You can also attend a plenary session where you see the German parliament in function and listen in on the debates. 

The Reichstag plenary chamber has a visitor’s gallery where people can see what goes on inside Reichstag. 

However, this visit comes with caveats. You must have a strong knowledge of the German language to understand anything. 

Aside from that, you must know about the current German politics to understand the discussions fully.

Since this is related to the country’s legislature, no translation will be provided. 

Remember that this is not a guided tour or exhibition but a live viewing of the parliamentary session. You can register for these on the official Bundestag website.

If you want to learn a language you are comfortable with and do the tour at your own pace, we recommend sticking to the Reichstag guided tours.

With these tours, you can still enter the plenary chamber, dome and all other building parts and learn factual and exciting knowledge about them.

Featured Image: Bundestag.de

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