On Tuesday, June 8th, Touro Law's 2010 Berlin Summer Abroad Program got an exclusive tour of the Reichstag, the primary German parliament building (the equivalent to The Capitol in Washington, DC).
The building, originally constructed in the late 19th century, has transformed dramatically after its reconstruction due to allied bombing from World War II. Although the building's interior retains a modern feel, parts of the original walls remain exposed behind a layer of renovated stone walls revealing the ghosts of the past. Because the building was a primary target of the Red Army, you can still see Russian graffiti written on the parts of the old exposed wall.
The Reichstag ceased to be used as a parliamentary building after World War II, however, the powers that be decided to reconstruct the building, and it was subsequently used as an official meeting quarters by West Germany (the Reichstag is situated in the former West Berlin).
It wasn't until German reunification and the decision to move the German capital to Berlin that the Reichstag regained its status is the main parliamentary building. The building's most recognizable feature is its glass dome - a beehive-like glass structure built in 1999. Visitors can walk up to the top of the dome via a spiral walkway, and enjoy spectacular views of Berlin's skyline.
The dome taken from inside the main parliamentary chamber.
By Brian Elliott, Student, Touro Law Summer Abroad Program in Germany 2010