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The Bundestag

A photo of the German Bundestag taken from the banks of the Spree River in Berlin

The Bundestag is the German federal parliament and one of the most important institutions in the country's political landscape. It is located in Berlin, the capital of Germany, and has a long and fascinating history. In this blog post, we will explore the history of the Bundestag in Berlin, from its origins to the present day.

Origins of the Bundestag

The Bundestag has its roots in the German Empire, which was founded in 1871. The Imperial Diet (Reichstag) was the parliament of the German Empire, and it had two houses: the Reichstag and the Bundesrat. The Reichstag was the lower house and was elected by universal suffrage. The Bundesrat was the upper house and represented the interests of the German states.

The Weimar Republic

After World War I, Germany became a republic, and the Imperial Diet was replaced by the Weimar National Assembly. The Weimar Republic lasted from 1919 to 1933, and during this time, the parliament was known as the Reichstag. It was a relatively weak institution, and the government was often run by executive orders.

The Third Reich

In 1933, the Nazis came to power in Germany, and the Reichstag was dissolved. The Nazis established a one-party dictatorship, and the parliament was replaced by the Reichstag Fire Decree, which gave the government the power to rule by decree.

The Federal Republic of Germany

After World War II, Germany was divided into four occupation zones, and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was established in 1949. The parliament of the Federal Republic was called the Bundestag, and it was based in Bonn.

The Bundestag in Berlin

In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany was reunified, and Berlin became the capital of the country. The Bundestag was moved to Berlin, and a new building was constructed to house the parliament. The building housing parliament - the Reichstag - was designed by the British architect Sir Norman Foster and was completed in 1999.


The Bundestag is a vital institution in the German political system, and its history reflects the tumultuous history of Germany itself. From its origins in the Imperial Diet to its current home in the Reichstag building, the Bundestag has played a central role in shaping the country's political landscape. As Germany continues to evolve, the Bundestag will undoubtedly continue to play a critical role in the country's future.


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