Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin
The Museum Island is a great place in general. It is comprised of five museums The bode Museum (celebrating its grand reopening when I was there with lines around the block so I skipped it) The Altes Museum for antiquities (meaning Greco-Roman or Egyptian), the National Gallery for art (I passed on this one too) and best of all, the Pergamum Museum for a fascinating and unique look at some of the ancient cultures which don't get as much exposure. Close by is a pretty church called the Berliner Dom.
Fondest memory: I found the museums to be a plesant way to pass a full day but if you are serious about this kind of thing you can easily kill an entire week. The island itself isn't much bigger than the buildings built upon it.
The Bodemuseum is at the far northern tip of the Museuminsel. It was designed with the assistance of the director of Berlin's state museums at the time, Wilhelm van Bode - from whom it currently derives its name. (When the museum was first opened in 1904, it was called the Kaiser Friedrich Museum and housed an eclectic mix of collectibles and knickknacks.)
The Bodemuseum will be the last museum on Museuminsel to be renovated, with re-opening currently scheduled for sometime around 2008. The museum will continue to have an interesting mix of collections: Byzantine Art, coins and medallions, and classical European sculpture from Donatello to Canova.
I'm sure that the politics, financing, and history of Berlin's museums would make for a fascinating book!
Despite its neo-classical (and much weathered) exterior, the Pergamon is actually the most recently constructed museum on the island. It was completed only in 1930. The museum derives its name from the great altar of Pergamon that has been intelligently reconstructed in its central hall.
The Pergamon Museum houses collections of Greek and Roman antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, and Islamic Art. I didn't get a chance to see it on my visit - maybe next time.
The Altes Museum has one of the most striking facades of any museum in the world. I didn't get a chance to go inside to see the collection of Greek and Roman arts, but I enjoyed the perspective of the structure's grand exterior.
It was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the 1830s - the great architect also responsible for the Neue Wache and the Friedrichswerder Kirche, among other structures in Berlin. Schinkel was partly responsible for giving this section of Berlin its stately air of neo-classical authority.
The portico of the Altes Museum is 87 meters high, supported by 18 massive Ionic columns. The bowl in front of the museum was originally intended for the building's lobby, but apparently it was too heavy to carry inside, so they left it outdoors as the centerpiece of the Lustgarten, or Pleasure Garden. (The bowl weighs over 70 tons.)
What is it? A new "Wrapped Museum" project by the conceptual artist Christo? Or simply another stage in the much-anticipated but painstakingly slow reconstruction of "Museum Island"?
It's the "Neues Museum" - which isn't really all that new, having been constructed in the 1840s to alleviate overcrowding in the "Altes" Museum. When it's all done, Berlin's Egyptian treasures (including Nefertiti) will be housed here.
This is the Pergamon Altar in Hall 1 in Pergamon Museum.
It's from 164 to 156 BC.
The height is 9.66 m.
This is the most commanding sight in Pergamon Museum !
You can see people sitting on the steps, talking, kissing as if the Pergamon Altar is a modern day town hall.
You should do the same actually....
When in Pergamon, don't be annoyed with so many naked statues around you with all kinds of posings !
Here, the men genitals made from marbles are a common sight !
Funnily, the women statues have gowns worm on them.
What's the story ?
Pergamon Museum is supposed to be a quite place with the sounds of people walking should be apt.
Nonetheless, some parts of Pergamon galleries are noisy with people talking, whispering, kissing (passionately of course...) or arguing !
I captured this photo from one gallery in Pergamon Museum. 2 people arguing, not talking out loud but sure made lots of heads turned to them !
I couldn't understand what was it all about because they were arguing in German...
Had to walk a bit further to snal the photo otherwise I would be the middle man between them !
Pergamon Museum, situated on the Museum Island.
Don't give this a miss because apart from being one of the best museums in the world, it makes a history seems so big & huge as so many artefacts & depictions (reconstructions or otherwise) contained within one big building !
The statue on the left is situated on the outside of the Pergamon Museum.
To me, this is the highlight ! The Ishtar Gate.
Although a reconstruction, it depicted the nearest glimpse that we could get to the Babylon Empire which is lost to our eyes in modern time !
It's from 6th BC.
Glazed clay bricks, both original & replicas are made up of this amazing sight in Pergamon Museum.
Situated in Gallery 9.
It was great being in Pergamon Museum, seeing all the artefacts from the Ole World, all displayed in this museum by their eras, cultures & periods.
The photo on the left, taken by me is the depiction of King Attalos (241 to 197 BC), the King of Pergamon !
Favorite thing: ENGLISH - Visit the Pergamum Museum. It looks as if they had built the building for the museum around a greek temple (ok: they re-built the temple inside the museum, of course)- PORTUGUÊS - Visitem o Museu de Pérgamo. Dir-se-ia que construiram um edifício para o museu à volta de um templo grego (claro que reconstruiram o templo dentro do museu) - FRANÇAIS - Visitez le Musée de Pergame. On aurait dit qu'ils ont construit l'immeuble du musée autour d'un temple grec(évidemment, ils ont re-construit le temple à l'intérieur du musée).
visit the Museuminsel. This island in the Spree concentrates some of the most interesting buildings in the city: museums, parks, the cathedral, the Statue of Marx and Engels...
There are plans to destroy the Palast der Republik (former GDR's parliament house) in order to rebuild the old Schloß of the Hohenzollern. Please don't do it!! The Palast der Republik is beautiful and certainly more valuable than the replica of a Prussian castle. The stylish Palast is a genuine sample of socialist architecture with a unique design and Berlin would never be the same without it.
Fondest memory: Enjoying the sunny summer days in the Tiergarten (Berlin's main park) or in one of the many lakes that surround the city.
THE ISHTAR GATE
Also at the Pergamon Museum. Originally found at Babilona. (604-562 aC).
Museum Island, Berlin D-10178. Open daily 10.00 am to 6:00 pm.
'The Ishtar Gate is the most impressive remnant of the city; it has been reconstructed out of its original materials and preserved in the State Museum, Berlin. In contrast to the ferocity of Assyrian art, here numerous tiers of elegant bulls and Babylonian dragons composed in the low relief of glazed polychrome bricks float against a light blue background. Even the abstract details—friezes, moldings, battlements, the arch—achieve admirable refinement.'
Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p71.
THE PERGAMON ALTAR
This wonderful antique Greek Shrine is the main attraction in the Museum built to house it.
Museum Island, Berlin D-10178. Open daily 10.00 am to 6:00 pm.
The Pergamon Altar dedicated to the Greek gods Athenea and Zeus, was found at the site of the ancient city of Pergamon in what is now Turkey. Excavated by German archeologists Humann and Conze in 1878-1880 the Altar was moved to Berlin 'for protection' in 1902 and is probably the best surviving example of ancient Greek sculpture in the world.