History of the Reichstag

Topics: Corinthian order, Reichstag building, Ionic order Pages: 3 (1160 words) Published: March 20, 2011
History of the Reichstag
The building that I am going to write about in this essay is the Reichstag building. This building is situated in Berlin, Germany. The Reichstag was built in 1894 by the architect Paul Wallot. The Reichstag housed the German parliament up until it was severely damaged by the fire in 1933; in 1945 it was almost destroyed by the bombing in WW2 and restored in the 1960s. I chose to write about this building because I am captivated by its turbulent history and although it has continually undergone changes and major disruption, it has always been a symbol of democracy. Before the Reichstag was built the German parliament had to assemble in several different places. So in 1872 an architectural contest was held to design a whole new building, there were 103 architects competing. However because of problems with purchasing property and arguments between Wilhelm I and the members of the Reichstag about how the Reichstag should be built. Work did not start until ten years later. This time there was another architectural contest held. This time there were 189 architects competing and the Frankfurt architect Paul Wallot was declared the winner. The Reichstag when it was built was the first example of a simpler but a much more powerful version of Neo-baroque. The Reichstag can be argued as a Neo Baroque or as a Neo Classical building, Neo classical style is a style that emerged from the Neo classical movement that began in the late 18th century, in its purest this style can be principally derived from the architecture of ancient Greece. Neo baroque is defined as the ostentatious historicist style that emerged as a reaction against the “cold impersonality” of Neoclassicism towards the end of the nineteenth century. The neo- Baroque tends to relish overloaded sculptural and painted interior decoration. I remember the time when I first saw the Reichstag, I had read so much about its past and when I finally saw the building physically I was blown away....
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