From the roof of the German Reichstag, visitors can always look down on the proceedings through the glass dome. Once a year in summer, on its open day, the parliament opens its doors for citizens to have a look from inside.
Several hundred citizens have come to listen to one of the Bundestag’s vice presidents explaining what the representatives are actually doing. How do MPs spend their day? Is it difficult working with representatives from so many different parties? Why is it that my boss doesn’t work but earns more money than I? Ooops – ok, but most people visiting the Reichstag’s Open Day are actually interested in the political work.
They stroll around the old Reichstag building with the Soviet-era graffiti.
During a guided tour, they ponder over the weight of the Federal Eagle and other quiz questions. And finally they have Bratwurst in the MP’s cafeteria.
And with a very federal bag full of leaflets and give-away ball-pens, coffee mugs and sweets in eagle wrappers, they stomp up the glass dome. From there they are trying to look down on the next bunch of visitors listening to another parliamentary vice president.
For Germans and foreign tourists alike, it is always possible to visit the Reichstag in Berlin. The glass dome is a specific feature in the old parliament building enabling the citizens to watch parliamentary proceedings. That way you can see what your representatives are doing, but from a safe distance and terrorist-proof.
Looking up into the dome for a change was a great experience.