If you’ve ever been curious enough to wonder what the insides of that giant glass-fronted office building up at Wacken look like, then rejoice! For on the 9th of May the security guards will open this normally empty building to allow the public in to fill it’s echoing halls and marvel at … well not much.
The building in question is actually known around the world as The European Parliament building, for it is said to be home to hundreds of representatives from twenty seven countries across the continent. You wouldn’t believe this though if you’d ever walked by the windswept front gates – as signs of activity are rare. It remains near-empty for three weeks out of every month, and then is entirely empty for the summer.
This though is the home of European democracy, and while the MEPs – whose responsibility it is to be here – whine about it’s location, it has always been here and most likely always will be. So, seeing as your taxes paid for it – you should go and take a look!
Architecturally there are two highlights: the vast planted atrium that divides the building down the middle and the magnificent debating chamber (which has been restored since it fell down last year). Other highlights include, er, um… well maybe you’ll see something I missed.
Look out for the European political parties (that you’ve never heard of – but actually probably voted for) handing out freebies such as balloons and shopping bags, as well as numerous other European organisations who will be taking your attendance as an opportunity to remind you of their existence (as your taxes are probably also paying for them).
Be warned though – if you only speak English – be prepared for blank looks as the hosts usually only expect French or German speaking visitors.
One last reminder to leave your guns, knives and explosives at home – as they probably won’t let you past security.