ReichstagLying just west of the Brandenburg Gate is the German Reichstag building. This was again destined to become the seat of the German Bundestag or federal government since the country's reunification in 1990, although it wasn't until 1999 that the move from Bonn to Berlin finally took place.
The Reichstag received a new lease of life following unification in physical and ideological terms. The dome structure was redeveloped by British architect Sir Norman Foster as a stunning glass form at the top of the original building. As a result of these changes in it's appearance and role, it has today become on of the city's biggest tourist attractions once more with visitors wanting to find out about the history that the building has witnessed during the 19th century.
The original Reichstag building was constructed from 1884–94 by Paul Wallot, in order that the newly-founded German state would have a parliament building from which to operate. In November 1918, the politician Philipp Scheidemann announced the establishment of the German Republic from one of the Reichstag's windows. Famously in 1933 a significant part of the building was destroyed by fire. Although the cause was never firmly established, the Nazis blamed the communists for it and therefore used it to justify their persecution of political opponents. Between 1961 and 1971, years after the bullet wounds and other devastating damage had been inflicted on the building in the second world war, the Reichstag was rebuilt in a simplified form without reconstruction of the original dome structure, by Paul Baumgarten. The West German goverment had since moved it's seat to Bonn, a city further west therefore the building here no longer served a parliamentary function.