Since the period of the Holy Roman Empire the term reichstag was used to denote the supreme deliberative assembly, a precursor of the today parliament. At first, the Reichstag occupied a small building. By the end of the 19 century a larger and more impressive building was required for the sessions of the Reichstag. So, in 1884 it was decided to erect the Reichstag building in the historic center of the city, on the bank of the Spree river.
The first sessions were held there in 1894. But the sessions were held there for a short period of time. On February, 27, 1933 the Reichstag was set on fire by the order of Hitler, and then the repressions began in the country, and the parliament was practically dissolved. Rare sessions took place in the building of the opera theatre, and in 1942 they were at all stopped.
After the war the Reichstag was in the West Berlin, but Bonn was the capital of West Germany, and the Reichstag was converted in an exposition place. After the reunification of Germany in 1990 it was decided to move the parliament of Germany (Bundestag) to the Reichstag building. The first session was held there after the reconstruction had been finished in 1999.
The Reichstag is open for visiting but you should register in advance on the web-site of the Bundestag. The visitors may ascend up to the glass dome and have a beautiful view of Berlin. Also you may see the inscriptions of the Soviet soldiers who took Berlin in 1945.