The history of the Plenary Building

The inaugural session of the parliamentary council

By the end of the Second World War a third of the city of Bonn was in ruins. Late in the evening of July 5, 1948 the city's fathers' received a request asking if they could host the upcoming constitutional convention. They agreed without hesitation.

The inaugural session of the parliamentary council, whose chairperson Konrad Adenauer was to be the later Federal Chancellor, took place on the 1st of September 1948 in the Museum Koenig. This was the only building at the time in Bonn which offered sufficient space for a meeting of the entire council. However, the sessions were later held in the pedagogic academy which was, specifically for this purpose through night and day work, being adapted since the relocation. The main convention venue for the parliamentarians was the gymnasium of the pedagogic academy, which was built in 1931 by the state building architect, Witte. Eight months later the final decision was made to turn Bonn into the (interim) capital city.

The Plenary Chambers from the architects Hans Schwippert and Günter Behnisch

The old gymnasium was finally remodelled in 1950 by the architect Hans Schwippert. However, in 1983 the German Building Office was concerned that the current Plenary Hall was too small and would need to be reconfigured. After the preliminary planning stages for the transformation, the parliament decided to completely redevelop the Bundeshaus into its current form.

During the time of reconstruction, from 1986 - 1992, the parliament met in the adjacent Waterworks until the new building, conceptualised by the architect Günter Behnisch, was ready for occupancy. At the Waterworks on 20th, June 1991 the German Bundestag decided upon the reunification of Germany to move its headquarters to Berlin. The members of Parliament used the Günther Behnisch Chamber between 1992 and1999.

Since the autumn of 1999, the Plenary Chamber is available to be rented by the public for all kinds of events, until end of 2015 also the Waterworks was part of the World Conference Center Bonn.


Bonn Conference Center Management GmbH
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53113 Bonn

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