Nancy is the capital of the north-eastern French department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine, the French province of the same name. The metropolitan area of Nancy had a population of 434,565 inhabitants at the 2011 census, making it the 20th largest urban area in France; the population of the city of Nancy proper was 104,321 in 2014. The motto of the city is Non inultus premor, Latin for "I'm not touched with impunity"—a reference to the thistle, a symbol of Lorraine. Place Stanislas, a large square built between March 1752 and November 1755 by Stanislaus I of Poland to link the medieval old town of Nancy and the new town built under Charles III in the 17th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first place in France and in the top four in the world; the earliest signs of human settlement in the area date to 800 BC. Early settlers were attracted by mined iron ore and a ford in the Meurthe River. A small fortified town named Nanciacum was built by Gérard, Duke of Lorraine around 1050.
Nancy was burned in 1218 at the end of the War of Succession of Champagne, conquered by Emperor Frederick II. It was rebuilt in stone over the next few centuries as it grew in importance as the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine. Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy, was defeated and killed in the Battle of Nancy in 1477. Following the failure of both Emperor Joseph I and Emperor Charles VI to produce a son and heir, the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 left the throne to the latter's next child; this turned out to be Maria Theresa of Austria. In 1736 Emperor Charles arranged her marriage to Duke François of Lorraine, who reluctantly agreed to exchange his ancestral lands for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany; the exiled Polish king Stanislaus Leszczyński, father-in-law of the French king Louis XV, was given the vacant duchy of Lorraine. Under his nominal rule, Nancy experienced growth and a flowering of Baroque culture and architecture. Stanislaus oversaw the construction of Place Stanislaus, a major square and development connecting the old medieval with a newer part of the city.
After Stanislaus' death in 1766, the duchy of Lorraine returned to the status of a regular French province. Nancy lost its position as a residential capital city with patronage; as unrest surfaced within the French armed forces during the French Revolution, a full-scale mutiny, known as the Nancy affair, took place in Nancy in the latter part of summer 1790. A few units loyal to the government shot or imprisoned the mutineers. In 1871, Nancy remained French; the flow of refugees reaching Nancy doubled its population in three decades. Artistic, academic and industrial excellence flourished, establishing what is still the Capital of Lorraine's trademark to this day. Nancy and other areas of France were occupied by German forces from 1940. During the Lorraine Campaign of World War II, Nancy was liberated from Nazi Germany by the U. S. Third Army in September 1944, at the Battle of Nancy. In 1988, Pope John Paul II visited Nancy. In 2005, French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski inaugurated the renovated Place Stanislas.
It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nancy is situated on the left bank of the river Meurthe, about 10 km upstream from its confluence with the Moselle; the Marne–Rhine Canal runs through the city, parallel to the Meurthe. Nancy is surrounded by hills that are about 150 m higher than the city center, situated at 200 m above mean sea level; the area of Nancy proper is small: 15 km2. Its built-up area is continuous with those of its adjacent suburbs; the neighboring communes of Nancy are: Jarville-la-Malgrange, Malzéville, Maxéville, Saint-Max, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy and Villers-lès-Nancy. The oldest part of Nancy is the quarter Vieille Ville – Léopold, which contains the 14th century Porte de la Craffe, the Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine, the Porte Désilles and the 19th century St-Epvre basilica. Adjacent to its south is the quarter Charles III – Centre Ville, the 16th–18th century "new town"; this quarter contains the famous Place Stanislas, the Nancy Cathedral, the Opéra national de Lorraine and the main railway station.
The population of the city proper experienced a small decrease in population from 2009 to 2014, placing it behind Metz as the second largest city in the Lorraine. However, the urban area of Metz experienced population decline from 1990 to 2010 while the urban area of Nancy grew over the same period, becoming the largest urban area in Lorraine and second largest in the "Grand Est" region of northeastern France. Within the Nancy metropolitan area in recent years, the city population declined at the same time as a small increase in the population of its urban area. Nancy has an oceanic climate, although a bit more extreme than most of the larger French cities. By the standards of France it is a "continental" climate with a certain degree of maritimy; the temperatures have a distinct variation of the temperate zone, both during the day and between seasons but without being different. Winters are dry in freezing climates. Summers are not warm enough. Mists are frequent in autumn and the winds are light and not too violent.
Precipitation tends to be less abundant than in the west of the country. Sunshine hours are identical to Paris and the snowy days are the same as Stra
Roman Catholic Diocese of Mainz
The Diocese of Mainz known in English by its French name of Mayence is a Latin rite of the Catholic church in Germany. It was founded in 304, promoted in 780 to Metropolitan Archbishopric of Mainz and demoted back in 1802 to bishopric; the diocese is suffragan diocese in the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Freiburg. Its district is located in the states of Hesse; the seat of the diocese is in Mainz at the Cathedral dedicated to Saints Stephen. It is the only Roman Catholic diocese in the world – other than Rome – which bears the title of a Holy See. Established in 340 as Diocese of Mainz Gained territory in 755 from the suppressed Diocese of Erfurt Promoted in 780 as Metropolitan Archdiocese of Mainz Demoted on the 29th of November, 1801 to Diocese of Mainz Lost territories repeatedly. Under Article 14 of the Reichskonkordat of 1933, which remains in force, the determination of the bishop to head the episcopal see and the composition of the chapter are governed by the provisions of Baden Concordat of 1932.
As per 2014, it pastorally served 749,583 Catholics on 7,692 km² in 319 parishes, 504 priests, 124 deacons, 447 lay religious, 19 seminarians. It is divided into 20 deaneries. In 2007 these parish associations or parish groups included all 335 parishes and other chaplaincies of the diocese. Pastoral units on the parish level have been introduced as a result of a profound structural change in the Catholic Church in Germany in many dioceses, the constitution of these units was determined by particular law, i.e. allowing for differences from one diocese to another. In the diocese of Mainz a parish group may be several parishes merged under the leadership of a single pastor; the parishes retain their state church legal personality. The pastor is attached to a pastoral council. Parish associations, are combinations of several parishes, each with its own pastor. Several parish groups can join together to form a parochial associations. Suffragan Bishops of Mainz, 1802–presentJoseph Ludwig Colmar Joseph Vitus Burg Johann Jakob Humann Petrus Leopold Kaiser Wilhelm Emmanuel Freiherr von Ketteler Paul Leopold Haffner Heinrich Brück Georg Heinrich Kirstein Ludwig Maria Hugo Albert Stohr Hermann Cardinal Volk Karl Cardinal Lehmann Peter Kohlgraf Joseph Maria Reuß Wolfgang Rolly Franziskus Eisenbach Werner Guballa Ulrich Neymeyr Udo Markus Bentz The most important educational institution of the Diocese is the Catholic University of Applied Sciences, Mainz.
Besides the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mainz and the dioceses of Cologne, Limburg and Trier belong to the initiators of this university. There are other schools as the Edith-Stein-Schule in Darmstadt, Liebfrauenschule in Bensheim, the Episcopal Willigis-Gymnasium in Mainz, Abendgymnasium Ketteler of Mainz and the Episcopal College Willigis secondary school in Mainz; the diocese maintains three facilities at state universities. The most important of them is the Catholic Theological Faculty at the University of Mainz. In addition, there are at University of Giessen, the Institute for Catholic theology and their didactics, located at the Department of History and Cultural Studies. At the Technische Universität Darmstadt is an institute for theology and social ethics; the Bildungswerk der Diözese Mainz promotes "... the church's adult education in the diocese from the parish to the diocesan level..." The Bildungswerk is a member of the Catholic Adult Education Hesse - Regional Working Group. Institut für Kirchenmusik Mainz: training institution for catholic Church musicians Mainz Cathedral Worms Cathedral Basilica of St. Martin, Bingen am Rhein Basilica of Sts.
Marcellinus and Petrus, Seligenstadt Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Sts. Peter and Paul, Ilbenstadt St. Stephen's Church, Mainz with Chagall windows St. Ludwig, dome of Neoclassicism Collegiate church, Pfaffen-Schwabenheim Church of Our Lady, Worms Chapel of St. Roch, Bingen Internal feasts of the diocese are: 5. January:John Neumann, Redemptorist priest and fourth Bishop of Philadelphia 4. February: Rabanus Maurus, Frankish Benedictine monk, archbishop of Mainz 14. February: Valentine of Terni, 3rd-century Christian martyr 23. February: Saint Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz and statesman of the Holy Roman Empire 27. April: Petrus Canisius, Jesuit priest who supported the Catholic faith during the Protestant Reformation in Germany 15. May: Rupert of Bingen, patron saint of pilgrims 2. June: Marcellinus and Peter, 4th-century Christian martyrs in Rome 5. June: Boniface, leading figure in the Anglo-Saxon mission to the German parts of the Frankish Empire. 10. June: Bardo of Mainz, presided over the Synod of Mainz in 1049 which denounced simony and priest marriage 21.
June: Alban of Mainz, priest and martyr. 27. June: Creszenz, Theonest saints venerated by the Church of Mainz 4. July: anniversary of the consecration of Mainz cathedral 16. August
Sélestat is a commune in the north-east region of France. An administrative division of the Bas-Rhin department, the town lies on the Ill river, 17 kilometres from the Rhine and the German border. Sélestat is located between the largest communes of Alsace and Mulhouse. In 2013, Sélestat had a total population of 19,332, which makes it the eighth most populous town in Alsace. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was the third largest city in the region, after Strasbourg and Colmar, it is ranked the third commune in Alsace for cultural heritage. Sélestat was founded in the 8th century as a port on the Ill and it experienced a long period of prosperity thanks to the trade in wine and a thriving religious and cultural life, it declined after the Reformation and the French conquest in the 17th century. The town experienced a new demographic growth in the second half of the 20th century when it became a small industrial and cultural centre. Thanks to its rich heritage, which includes the renowned Humanist Library and an imposing pair of medieval churches, Sélestat is an important tourist destination in Alsace.
It benefits from its location on the Alsace wine road and its proximity to Haut-Kœnigsbourg castle. Aside from the medieval old town, the commune of Sélestat encompasses a nature reserve including one of the largest riparian forests of France; the present name of the town is a Frenchification of the original Germanic name. It appeared soon after the French conquest in the 17th century; the town is called Schlettstàdt in Schlettstadt in German. Sélestat was first mentioned in 727 as Sclastat, it was mentioned as Scalistati in 775, as Slectistat in 881, as Sclezistat in 884 and as Slezestat in 1095. The current German name, appeared in 1310, although various spellings can be noticed on posterior documents, such as Schlestat and Schlestat; the French administration used various forms from the 17th to the 19th century, such as Frenchified and Germanic. The town was known as Schlettstadt between 1871 and 1919, when Alsace was part of the German Empire. Since 1920, the town's French name is fixed as Sélestat.
The origin of the name "Schlettstadt" is unclear. It derives from Germanic words slade or sclade meaning "marshes", stat for "city". Sélestat would be a "city in the marshes", a reference to its position in the Grand Ried, a vast area subject to flooding that stretches over the centre of Alsace. Stat could mean "area" rather than "city". A popular myth explains that the town takes its name from a dragon called Schletto that founded the settlement after opening up the nearby Lièpvre valley in the Vosges mountains. Sélestat was first mentioned in 727 AD but the town has an earlier Celtic or Roman origin. Archaeological findings provide evidence of human settlement during the Mesolithic, the Neolithic and the Bronze Age. A large number of wood piles dating from the 1st and 2nd centuries AD were discovered around St. Quirin chapel, suggesting a Roman settlement. At that time Sélestat might have been a port on the river Ill; when Sélestat started to appear in written documents in the 8th century, it may have been a market town or a village populated by fishermen and farmers.
The area was part of the estate of Eberhard, a member of the Alsatian ducal family, who donated it to Murbach Abbey at the end of his life. In 775, Charlemagne spent Christmas in Sélestat, which indicates that the town must have had enough appropriate buildings and population to accommodate his court and troops. In the 1080s, Sélestat was the property of Hildegard von Eguisheim, mother of Frederick I, Duke of Swabia, the first member of the House of Hohenstaufen. Hildegard transformed the place into a religious centre when she founded St. Faith's Church, which she gave to the Benedictines of Conques Abbey. Monks from Conques opened a priory next to the church in 1092; the House of Hohenstaufen became the leading dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire, which came to the imperial throne in 1152. Being under their protection, the priory of Sélestat influenced local life. Though Sélestat constituted a distinct parish, its priest had only limited power and the Benedictine prior was the true head of the municipality.
At the end of the 12th century, the Hohenstaufen dynasty lost power and as a result the priory started to decline. The citizens used this opportunity to reduce the prior's dominance and secure the power of their parish, they started to build a new parish church in the 1220s. St. George's Church was designed in Gothic style and was larger than St. Faith's Church, another way to signify the end of Benedictine hegemony. Frederick II, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire in the 13th century, realised that his dynasty was losing its power and granted freedoms to many cities in order to keep their allegiance; these cities became Free imperial cities and Sélestat became one of them in 1217. Under the new status Sélestat was able to collect taxes on its own, its serfs and settlers were freed. The German monarch Adolf of Nassau granted Sélestat a constitution in 1292, it was amended many times but it regulated local politics until 1789. Although the new status favoured trade and prosperity, free cities in Alsace were afraid that they would not be defended by imperial forces if a conflict was to occur.
So they decided to form an alliance called the Decapolis in 1354, which comprised ten cities:. The seat of the alliance was in Hague
First Vatican Council
The First Vatican Council was convoked by Pope Pius IX on 29 June 1868, after a period of planning and preparation that began on 6 December 1864. This, the twentieth ecumenical council of the Catholic Church, held three centuries after the Council of Trent, opened on 8 December 1869 and adjourned on 20 October 1870. Unlike the five earlier general councils held in Rome, which met in the Lateran Basilica and are known as Lateran councils, it met in the Vatican Basilica, hence its name, its best-known decision is its definition of papal infallibility. The council was convoked to deal with the contemporary problems of the rising influence of rationalism and materialism, its purpose was, besides this. There was discussion and approval of only two constitutions: the Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith and the First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, the latter dealing with the primacy and infallibility of the Bishop of Rome; the first matter brought up for debate was the dogmatic draft of Catholic doctrine against the manifold errors due to rationalism.
The Council condemned rationalism, liberalism and materialism. The Catholic Church was on the defensive against the main ideology of the XIX century; this council was summoned by Pope Pius IX by a bull on 29 June 1868. The first session was held in St. Peter's Basilica on 8 December 1869. Preliminary sessions dealt with committee assignments. Bishop Bernard John McQuaid complained of inadequate heating facilities and boredom. Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley of Newark, New Jersey, noted the high prices in Rome; when Lord Houghton asked Cardinal Manning what had been going on, he answered:“Well, we meet, we look at one another, we talk a little, but when we want to know what we have been doing, we read the Times”. The doctrine of papal infallibility was not new and had been used by Pope Pius in defining as dogma, in 1854, the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the mother of Jesus. However, the proposal to define papal infallibility itself as dogma met with resistance, not because of doubts about the substance of the proposed definition, but because some considered it inopportune to take that step at that time.
Richard McBrien divides the bishops attending Vatican I into three groups. The first group, which McBrien calls the "active infallibilists", was led by Henry Edward Manning and Ignatius von Senestréy. According to McBrien, the majority of the bishops were not so much interested in a formal definition of papal infallibility as they were in strengthening papal authority and, because of this, were willing to accept the agenda of the infallibilists. A minority, some 10 per cent of the bishops, McBrien says, opposed the proposed definition of papal infallibility on both ecclesiastical and pragmatic grounds, because, in their opinion, it departed from the ecclesiastical structure of the early Christian church. From a pragmatic perspective, they feared that defining papal infallibility would alienate some Catholics, create new difficulties for union with non-Catholics, provoke interference by governments in ecclesiastical affairs; those who held this view included most of the German and Austro-Hungarian bishops, nearly half of the Americans, one third of the French, most of the Chaldaeans and Melkites, a few Armenians.
Only a few bishops appear to have had doubts about the dogma itself. On 24 April 1870, the dogmatic constitution on the Catholic faith Dei Filius was adopted unanimously; the draft presented to the council on 8 March drew no serious criticism, but a group of 35 English-speaking bishops, who feared that the opening phrase of the first chapter, "Sancta romana catholica Ecclesia", might be construed as favouring the Anglican branch theory succeeded in having an additional adjective inserted, so that the final text read: "Sancta catholica apostolica romana Ecclesia". The constitution thus set forth the teaching of the "Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church" on God and faith. There was stronger opposition to the draft constitution on the nature of the church, which at first did not include the question of papal infallibility, but the majority party in the council, whose position on this matter was much stronger, brought it forward, it was decided to postpone discussion of everything in the draft except infallibility.
The decree did not go forward without controversy. The Pope rejected Guidi's view of the bishops as witnesses to the tradition, maintaining that "I am the tradition."On 13 July 1870, a preliminary vote on the section on infallibility was held in a general congregation: 451 voted in favour, 88 against, 62 in favour but on condition of some amendment. This made evident what the final outcome would be, some 60 members of the opposition left Rome so as not to be associated with approval of the document; the final vote, with a choice only between placet and non placet, was taken on 18 July 1870, with 433 votes in favour and only 2 against defining as a dogma the infallibility of the pope when speaking ex cathedra. The two votes in opposition were cast by Bishop Edward Fitzgerald; the dogmatic constitution states that the Pope has "full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church".
Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia, northern Bavaria, Germany. Located on the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk of Lower Franconia; the regional dialect is East Franconian. Würzburg lies about equidistant from Frankfurt am Nuremberg. Although the city of Würzburg is not part of the Landkreis Würzburg, it is the seat of the district's administration; the city has a population of around 130,000 people. A Bronze Age refuge castle stood on the site of the present Fortress Marienberg; the former Celtic territory was settled by the Alamanni in the 4th or 5th century, by the Franks in the 6th to 7th. Würzburg was the seat of a Merovingian duke from about 650, it was Christianized in 686 by Irish missionaries Kilian and Totnan. The city is mentioned in a donation by Duke Hedan II to bishop Willibrord, dated 1 May 704, in castellum Virteburch; the Ravenna Cosmography lists the city as Uburzis at about the same time. The name is of Celtic origin, but based on a folk etymological connection to the German word Würze "herb, spice", the name was Latinized as Herbipolis in the medieval period.
Beginning in 1237, the city seal depicted the cathedral and a portrait of Saint Kilian, with the inscription SIGILLVM CIVITATIS HERBIPOLENSIS. It shows a banner on a tilted lance in a blue field, with the banner quarterly argent and gules or and gules; this coat of arms replaced the older seal of the city, showing Saint Kilian, from 1570. The first diocese was founded by Saint Boniface in 742 when he appointed the first bishop of Würzburg, Saint Burkhard; the bishops created a secular fiefdom, which extended in the 12th century to Eastern Franconia. The city was the site of several Imperial Diets, including the one of 1180, at which Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony and Bavaria, was banned for three years from the Empire and his duchy Bavaria was handed over to Otto of Wittelsbach. Massacres of Jews took place in 1147 and 1298; the first church on the site of the present Würzburg Cathedral was built as early as 788 and consecrated that same year by Charlemagne. The University of Würzburg was founded in 1402 and re-founded in 1582.
The citizens of the city revolted several times against the prince-bishop. In 1397, King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia had visited the city and promised its people the status of a free Imperial City. However, the German ruling princes forced him to withdraw these promises. In 1400, the citizenry was decisively defeated by the troops of the bishop in the Schlacht von Bergtheim, the city fell under his control permanently until the dissolution of the fiefdom; the Würzburg witch trials, which occurred between 1626 and 1631, are one of the largest peace-time mass trials. In Würzburg, under Bishop Philip Adolf an estimated number between 600 and 900 alleged witches were burnt. In 1631, Swedish King Gustaf Adolf plundered the castle. In 1720, the foundations of the Würzburg Residence were laid. In 1796, the Battle of Würzburg between Habsburg Austria and the First French Republic took place; the city passed to the Electorate of Bavaria in 1803, but two years in the course of the Napoleonic Wars, it became the seat of the Electorate of Würzburg, the Grand Duchy of Würzburg.
In 1814, the town became part of the Kingdom of Bavaria and a new bishopric was created seven years as the former one had been secularized in 1803. In 1817, Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Bauer founded Schnellpressenfabrik Bauer. In the early 1930s, around 2,000 Jews had lived in Würzburg, a rabbinic center. Between November 1941 and June 1943 Jews from the city were sent to the Nazi concentration camps in Eastern Europe. On 16 March 1945, about 90% of the city was destroyed in 17 minutes by fire bombing from 225 British Lancaster bombers during a World War II air raid. Würzburg became a target for its role as a traffic hub. All of the city's churches and other monuments were damaged or destroyed; the city center, which dated from medieval times, was destroyed in a firestorm in which 5,000 people perished. Over the next 20 years, the buildings of historical importance were painstakingly and reconstructed; the citizens who rebuilt the city after the end of the war were women – Trümmerfrauen – because the men were either dead or still prisoners of war.
On a relative scale, Würzburg was destroyed to a larger extent than was Dresden in a firebombing the previous month. On 3 April 1945, Würzburg was occupied by the U. S. 12th Armored Division and U. S. 42nd Infantry Division in a series of frontal assaults masked by smokescreens. The battle continued until the final Wehrmacht resistance was defeated on 5 April 1945; the 2016 Würzburg train attack took place at the Würzburg-Heidingsfeld railway station on 18 July. Würzburg is located on both banks of the river Main in the region of Lower Franconia in Bavaria, Germany; the main body of the town is on the eastern bank of the river. The town is enclosed by the Landkreis Würzburg, but is not a part of it. Würzburg lies at an altitude of around 177 metres. Of the total municipal area, in 2007, building area accounted for 30%, followed by agricultural land, forestry/wood, green spaces, traffic and others; the centre of Würzburg is surrou
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
The Reichstag is a historic edifice in Berlin, constructed to house the Imperial Diet of the German Empire. It was opened in 1894 and housed the Diet until 1933, when it was damaged after being set on fire. After World War II, the building fell into disuse; the ruined building was made safe against the elements and refurbished in the 1960s, but no attempt at full restoration was made until after German reunification on 3 October 1990, when it underwent a reconstruction led by architect Norman Foster. After its completion in 1999, it once again became the meeting place of the German parliament: the modern Bundestag; the term Reichstag, when used to connote a diet, dates back to the Holy Roman Empire. The building was built for the Diet of the German Empire, succeeded by the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic; the latter would become the Reichstag of Nazi Germany, which left the building after the 1933 fire and never returned, using the Kroll Opera House instead. In today's usage, the word Reichstag refers to the building, while Bundestag refers to the institution.
Construction of the building began well after the unification of Germany in 1871. The parliament had assembled in several other buildings in Leipziger Straße in Berlin but these were considered too small, so in 1872 an architectural contest with 103 participating architects was carried out to erect a new building. After a short survey of possible sites, a parliamentary committee recommended the east side of the Königsplatz, which however was occupied by the palace of a Polish-Prussian aristocrat, Athanasius Raczyński. Work did not start until ten years though, owing to various problems with purchasing the property and arguments between Wilhelm I, Otto von Bismarck, the members of the Reichstag about how the construction should be performed. After lengthy negotiations, the Raczyński Palace was purchased and demolished, making way for the new building. In 1882, another architectural contest was held, with 200 architects participating; this time the winner, the Frankfurt architect Paul Wallot, would see his Neo-Baroque project executed.
The direct model for Wallot's design was Philadelphia's Memorial Hall, the main building of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. Some of the Reichstag's decorative sculptures and inscriptions were by sculptor Otto Lessing. On 29 June 1884, the foundation stone was laid by Wilhelm I, at the east side of the Königsplatz. Before construction was completed by Philipp Holzmann A. G. in 1894, Wilhelm I died. His eventual successor, Wilhelm II, took a more jaundiced view of parliamentary democracy than his grandfather; the original building was acclaimed for the construction of an original cupola of steel and glass, considered an engineering feat at the time. But its mixture of architectural styles drew widespread criticism. In 1916 the iconic words Dem Deutschen Volke were placed above the main façade of the building, much to the displeasure of Wilhelm II, who had tried to block the adding of the inscription for its democratic significance. After World War I had ended and Wilhelm had abdicated, during the revolutionary days of 1918, Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed the institution of a republic from one of the balconies of the Reichstag building on 9 November.
The building continued to be the seat of the parliament of the Weimar Republic, still called the Reichstag. The building caught fire on 27 February 1933, under circumstances still not known; this gave a pretext for the Nazis to suspend most rights provided for by the 1919 Weimar Constitution in the Reichstag Fire Decree, allowing them to arrest Communists and increase police action throughout Germany. The burning of Reichstag had created fear in the capitalists of rise of communism in Germany; this furthered their policy of appeasement towards Hitler. During the 12 years of Nazi rule, the Reichstag building was not used for parliamentary sessions. Instead, the few times that the Reichstag convened at all, it did so in the Kroll Opera House, opposite the Reichstag building; this applied to the session of 23 March 1933, in which the Reichstag surrendered its powers to Adolf Hitler in the Enabling Act, another step in the so-called Gleichschaltung. The main meeting hall of the building was instead used for propaganda presentations and, during World War II, for military purposes.
It was considered for conversion to a flak tower but was found to be structurally unsuitable. The building, never repaired after the fire, was further damaged by air raids. During the Battle of Berlin in 1945, it became one of the central targets for the Red Army to capture, due to its perceived symbolic significance. Today, visitors to the building can still see Soviet graffiti on smoky walls inside as well as on part of the roof, preserved during the reconstructions after reunification. On 2 May 1945, Yevgeny Khaldei took the photo Raising a flag over the Reichstag, which symbolized the victory of the USSR over German