Museumsinsel - Museum Island, Berlin

4.5 out of 5 stars 49 Reviews

Bodestraße, Berlin-Mitte 030/209050

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    Alte Nationalgalerie - "Circe" by F. von...
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    Works at Museumsinsel.
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    Egypt Royal Couple.
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    REOPENING OF THE EGYPTIAN MUSEUM.

    by breughel Updated Jan 30, 2011

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    The Egyptian Museum at the Museuminsel is one of the three best Egyptian museums in Europe. Its shares this position with the Egyptian departments of Le Louvre and the British Museum.
    Visiting Berlin without seeing the famous bust of Nefertiti would be as sad as visiting Paris without seeing La Joconde-Mona Lisa!

    The Egyptian Museum, now located in the Neues Museum at the Museuminsel, reopened on 16th of October 2009. The collection consists of 45.000 objects. Most famous are the bust of Nefertiti, the sculpture with the head of Queen Tiy and the so called "Berlin Green Head". There is also a papyrus collection with 60.000 texts in various scripts.

    I visited twice the Egyptian collection when it was located in Charlottenburg. So I can not comment the present lay out but I can say that it is a wonderful collection of Egyptian art. Indeed it seemed to me that in Berlin priority was given to the aesthetical value of the exposed artefacts. Le Louvre and British Museum are more oriented towards artefacts and objects of daily life in Egypt.

    NEW. Nefertiti arrived in Berlin a century ago. Mr. Zahi Hawass, chief of the Antiquities in Cairo, is now aggressively claiming its return to Egypt. The case of the bust of Nefertiti is poisoning the relations between Egypt and Germany.
    Nefertiti is not the only artifact claimed by Mr. Hawass; there are some thousand objects he wants to get back. It sounds a bit strange knowing that the Egyptian museums have already no room to display thousands and thousands antic objects (security is a new problem as seen on 28/01/2011).

    Opening hours:
    Mon, Tue, Wed and Sunday 10.00 - 18.00 h
    Thu, Fri, Sat 10.00 - 20.00 h.

    Egypt Royal Couple. Bust of Nefertiti Queen Tiy
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    NEFERTITI exhibition at the Neues Museum.

    by breughel Written Mar 1, 2013

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    Since end 2009 the Egyptian collection is on display in the renovated Neues Museum on the Museumsinsel.

    The icon of the museum is the bust of Nefertiti (ca.1370 - 1330 BC) the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Akhenaton known for worshipping one god only, Aton the sun disc.
    This bust, 50 cm high, is made of limestone covered with modeled gypsum. The eye is inlayed with crystal and the pupil attached with black colored wax. The second eye-inlay was never carried out. It is for me the most beautiful work of Egyptian art due to the fine modeling of the face and the preservation of the color. The bust was made as a model by the court sculptor Thutmosis
    I like to compare Nefertiti with another museum icon, La Joconde. It's clear for me; I might fall in love with Nefertiti, not with Mona Lisa!

    In the Neues Museum, Nefertiti has a room for herself and is now the highlight of a special exhibition "Im Licht von Amarna" that marks 100 Years of the discovery of the bust of Nefertiti on 6 December 1912 in the ruins of the ancient Egyptian city of Akhetaton today known as Tell el-Amarna.

    The exhibition details the discovery of the bust of Nefertiti by archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt during excavations in 1912 and 1913 on behalf of the Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft. In 1920 the bust and all other objects were given to the Egyptian Museum of Berlin.

    This special AMARNA exhibition is open from 07/12/2012 till 13/04/2013 every day from 10 to 18 h (20 h on Thursday).
    Best is to reserve your visit online www.imlichtvonamarna.de at 14 €. Well worth as you can also visit the other parts of the Neues Museum.

    Nefertiti. Queen Ahmes-Nefertari Vessel on the Nile.
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    Five Museums on the Museumsinsel.

    by breughel Updated Mar 22, 2013

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    I hope I will live long enough to see the end of the renovation works at what is going to be one of the cultural highlights of our old continent.
    On my first visit in the early 1990s I saw the Pergamon Museum and part of the Altes Museum. My impression from outside looking at this DDR part of Berlin was that WW II had only just stopped!

    On my second visit in the early 2000s I showed the Pergamon to my wife but we went to Charlottenburg to see the Egyptian museum.

    On this third visit we could finally see the results of the renovation works at least inside the museums because outside works are still going on obliging visitors to approach the entrances by strange paths (Pergamon). "Bauwerke" everywhere as you can see from my pic.

    The Neues Museum with the icon Nefertiti of the Egyptian collection and Early History of Europe is a must ( Nefertiti exhibition ).
    The Pergamon museum is the most spectacular of the five with the Pergamon Altar , the market gate of Miletus and the Ishtargate of Babylon .
    The Alte Nationalgalerie to discover with paintings of the 19th c. was for me an interesting introduction to German painters, showing also some French Impressionists.
    We had no time (actually were too tired) to see the Altes Museum with its Antiquity collection.
    Our last visit was to the Bode-Museum where we discovered medieval sculptures who made us feel enthusiast.

    OPEN: Pergamon & Neues Museum. Every day 10 - 18 h.
    Altes Nationalgalerie, Altes Museum & Bode-Museum are closed on Monday; Open other days 10 - 18 h.

    Museumsinsel map. Works at Museumsinsel. Babylone - Pergamon Museum.. Egypt at Neues Museum. Alte Nationalgalerie -
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    Museumsinsel

    by sue_stone Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Museumsinsel is a small island in the Spree River. The 'island of museums' not surprisingly gets its name from all of the museums located on it.

    This UNESCO World Heritage Sight is one of the most important complexes of museums in the world. When it was discovered that the island was slowly decaying, a massive renovation/restoration project commenced (back in 1992) and is due to be completed by 2010. When finished, all of the museums will be linked by an 'architectural promenade'.

    The museums are gradually being re-opened after restoration. The main museum here is the Pergamon Museum, which is one of the most important museums of ancient art and architecture in the world.

    You can also visit the Altes Museum, which looks a little like a Greek temple and houses ancient art and sculpture from Rome & Greece, or the Alte Nationalgalerie with its collection of 19th century European art.

    The island is also home to Berliner Dom and the remains of the Royal Palace, along with some lovely gardens and some shady places to rest your museum-weary feet.

    On Museumsinsel On Museumsinsel On Museumsinsel On Museumsinsel On Museumsinsel
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    Impressive Buildings and Collections in the Spree

    by Kakapo2 Updated Oct 2, 2007

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    Even if you do not put a foot into the museums you will most probably be impressed of Museumsinsel, the Museum Island, located on rather a big island in the river Spree. The museums cover the northern tip of the island.

    The architecture, and even more the agglomeration of such a lot of glorious buildings on such a small space, is breathtaking. Five architects worked on the design of this outstanding ensemble which got World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1999. Restoration and modernisation works are still being executed, and they estimate this will be going on until 2010. You will not be bothered until then, so much already looks absolutely fantastic.

    Building the ensemble took a hundred years until 1930. The impressive Berliner Dom (Berlin Dome) sits amongst the museums and enhances the beauty of everything. The highlight of all museums is Pergamonmuseum, built around the Pergamon Altar, found in Turkey.

    When talking about Museumsinsel we should not forget to mention that also the City Castle (Stadtschloss), main residence of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was located there. Despite protests the GDR regime ordered the demolition of the palace in 1950/51. Today you see a vast area called Schlossplatz. Discussions are going on if the castle should be reconstructed. Beautiful Schlossbrücke across the river Spree connects Schlossplatz and Unter den Linden. Statues made of white Carrara marble adorn the granite pillars.

    The northern part of the island once was a swamp, so no buildings were constructed there in the Middle Age. The area was reinforced by gravel in 1825, and the first museum was built on pillars.

    If you cross one of the Spree bridges after the Dome Nikolaiviertel and Alexanderplatz are within easy reach.

    The TV Tower is not far from Museum Island.
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    The Museums of Museumsinsel

    by Kakapo2 Updated Oct 2, 2007

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    The absolute hit is Pergamonmuseum (see extra tip)

    The other museums:

    Altes Museum:
    Built by famous Karl Friedrich Schinkel from 1825 to 1830, a masterpiece of neo-classical architecture. It has a 87 metre high portico supported by 18 Ionic columns. Behind them the red marble which was used for the construction is visible.
    It is one of the first custom-built museums, constructed to host the royal collection of paintings and antiquities. Today it hosts the etching cabinet and temporary exhibitions.
    The most famous exhibit (until 2009) is the the more than 3000 years old sculpture of the Egyptian Queen Nofretete.

    Alte Nationalgalerie:
    This gallery, designed by Friedrich August Stüler and finished by Johann Heinrich Strack from 1867 to 1876, was reopened in December 2001. Here you find German and European paintings (including the French impressionists Monet, Manet and Renoir) and sculptures from the 19th century, as well as an antique temple. The equestrian sculpture on the outside staircase depicts King Friedrich Wilhelm IV who had the idea to create the Museum Island.

    Bode-Museum:
    This rounded building at the very northern tip of the island, built by Ernst von Ihne from 1898 to 1904, was reopened in 2006. It hosts collections of Late Antiquity and Byzantine art. The museum is named after the director of the Berlin museums at the time.

    Neues Museum
    This was still not finished when we visited in August 2007. It is planned to reopen in 2008.

    All museums on Museumsinsel open daily 10am – 6pm, Thursday 10am – 10pm
    Entry Fee 8 Euro

    Bode-Museum, at the northern tip of the island.
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    Walk across the Bridge...

    by Greggor58 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    And you have arrived....Museum Island lies between the River Spree and Kupfergraben...here you will find the Pergamon Museum...the Altes Museum....the Neues Museum....the Bode Museum....the Alte Nationalgalerie....and the Berliner Dom....the Lustgarten

    Museum Island was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999....I will quote the UNESCO WWW regarding the Museum Island..."The museum as a social phenomenon owes its origins to the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. The five museums on the Museumsinsel in Berlin, built between 1824 and 1930, are the realization of a visionary project and show the evolution of approaches to museum design over the course of the 20th century."Hence the designation of UNESCO status....

    So....on a rainy or grey day that isnt so nice to be outdoors ....you could easily loose a day or two...or three or four.. wandering about here...and exploring some of Berlin's archaeological collections and art of the 19th century....

    The GDR put NO money into restoration of any of these magnificent buildings and in fact I walked past building facades that were still riddled with bullet holes from the Battle of Berlin in 1945.I had a hard time believing that 63 years after the War only recently has there been a concerted effort to fix these archetectural treasures!

    Today there is a huge reconstruction and modernization program under way.The value of the restoration work is measured in the billions of Euros...

    If you have any interest in history or appreciation of the Arts....then this is a MUST see while you are in Berlin.

    Berliner Dom,Museum Island,Berlin,Germany. Pergamon Museum,Museum Island,Berlin,Germany. Alte Nationalgalerie,Museum Island,Berlin,Germany. Altes Museum,Museum Island,Berlin,Germany. Bullet riddled wall,Museum Island,Berlin,Germany.
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    Museum Island

    by Luchonda Updated Sep 16, 2006

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    Museuminsel
    An idea of Friedrich Wilhelm IV to create a “Sanctuary of Art & Science”
    on an island surrounded by the river Spree. Another hot tip on what to do in Berlin.


    The Museums of Berlin's Museuminsel
    Altes Museum (The Old Museum)
    Neues Museum (The New Museum)
    Alte Nationalgalerie (The Old National Galerie)
    Das Pergamon Museum (The Pergamon Museum )
    The Pergamon was very recommended by the guide.
    It houses Roman sculpture and architectural treasures.
    Berliner Dom
    A Protestant counterweight to the St-Pieters Basilica in Rome
    The baroque building with Italian Renaissance is 114m long and 73m wide and was builded between 1894 and 1905.
    For sure an other eye catcher in Berlin

    Berliner Dom Berliner Dom Berliner Dom
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    Old National Gallery

    by nicolaitan Updated Feb 18, 2008

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    The Old National Gallery was built between 1869-76 to house a donated art collection from Johann Wagener and based on a sketch by King Frederick William IV whose equestrian statue dominates the entranceway ( Alexander Calandrelli 1886 ). As typical of Prussian royalty, classic architecture was the model. Plans were by Friedrich Stuler, responsible for so many of the Museuminsel buildings. The Old National Gallery was the first reopened after WWII with final renovations in 1999 and it houses almost entirely art and sculpture of the 19th Century - basically from the French Revolution to WWI - with large representations of Classic, Romantic, and particularly Impressionist art as well as a bit of early modern painting. German and French artists are predominantly displayed.

    The Old National Gallery seemed much less crowded that the other museums on the Island and the high ceilings and generous spacing made it a particularly nice museum to visit and wander through. The entrance rotunda is particularly striking with a three story ceiling and a grand circular staircase. The large exhibition rooms are not overcrowded and very still allowing peace to appreciate the fine art presented.

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    Walk on the path of history and art

    by tauroctonia Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    You need at least one whole day to explore the museum island with its wide range of museums. It’s situated in the heart of Berlin, surrounded by the Spree river. Here’s a quick introduction:

    Pergamon museum – Greek, Babylonian and Roman antiquity collection, museum of Islamic art (8th till 19th century)

    old museum – Greek divinity sculptures, also changing exhibitions

    Alte Nationalgalerie (old national gallery) – art of the 19th century (Romantic period and Impressionism), mostly paintings

    new museum and Bode museum – currently under construction and restoration

    The centre of the museum island is marked by the impressive “Berliner Dom” (Berlin cathedral), the biggest protestant church in Germany (www.berliner-dom.de), finished in 1904. Its size and grandiose decoration, however, seems to be rather “catholic”. Be sure to visit the crypt of the Hohenzollern dynasty, the former Prussian kings!

    Take a stroll at the museum island in the evening during summer and you will be more delighted to find open air cinema, concerts and radio plays in front of the old national gallery. The Museum Island Festival takes place every year from May till September. For details have a look here (only in German): http://www.smb.spk-berlin.de/mif/index.shtml.

    The old museum with the fountain of the Lustgarten
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    Ishtar Gate and Processional Way

    by nicolaitan Updated Feb 17, 2008

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    The centerpiece of the Pergamon Museum Section on Ancient Near Eastern Art is the colossal Ishtar Gate, the most important of eight gates to the ancient city 70 miles south of present day Baghdad. It was dedicated to the goddess Ishtar in 575BC, during the reign of the great King Nebuchadnezzar known for defeating Israel and destroying Jerusalem as well as other military victories. Through it ran the Processional Way, a half mile of opulence marking the major entrance to the city and the starting and ending point for military and other parties. The city was unearthed and excavated by a German archeologist during the first 30 years of the twentieth century and the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way were reconstructed at the Pergamon.

    The Processional Way is lined by blue glazed bricks decorated with lions. The Ishtar gate measures 47 feet high and 100 feet high. Pictures do not do justice. In Babylonian times it had wooden doors and roof and was covered with blue glazed tiles depicting animals with religious significance to the Babylonians including aurochs, the symbol of the god Adad, a large breed of cattle now extinct, dragons ( a symbol of the great god Mardok ), and lions ( the symbol of Ishtar ).
    Also displayed in this section of the museum is a wall panel from Nebuchadnezzar's palace with a row of stylized palm tree with a lower section again devoted to lions.

    The third major construction at the Pergamon is the Miletus Gate, under reconstruction until at least 2015 and totally obscured by scaffolding and netting.

    Processional Way Lion Ishtar Gate Aurochs and Dragons of the Ishtar Gate Model of the Processional Way and Ishtar Gate From the Palace Walls

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    Museum Island: a treat for the eyes

    by GillianMcLaughlin Written Oct 31, 2004

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    Not much further along the Spree we are treated to a less than flattering view of the Alte Nationalegalerie.

    But the glimpse is sufficient enough to give a taste of what awaits in the worlds largest and arguably its best purpose made museum complex. Demolished resoundingly during the war, almost completely rebuilt since reunification, Berlin’s Museum Island now enjoys the international protection and recognition it deserves courtesy of joining the list of UNESCOs world heritage sites in 1999.

    Museum Island is a relatively recent cultural development by European standards (started in 1824 and finished only in 1930), and is squeezed between the rivers Spree and Kupfergraben. It encompasses no fewer than 5 museums: The Alte Nationalgalerie, the Pergamon Museum, the Bode Museum, the Altes Museum and the Neues Museum. Architecturally, there is more than a casual nod to the grandeur of classic style, and each was constructed to ensure that the whole would provide a mixture of grandeur and style that would be harmonious and pleasing on the eye. It is a triumph.

    You will not be disappointed either should you decide to visit any of the museums. You will find therein the home of one of the largest collections of 19th century art in Germany including masterpieces by Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne and sculptures by Auguste Rodin. Elsewhere, in stunning settings and displays can be found some great treasures from antiquity.

    Open: Tues to Sun 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Thurs 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

    Altes Nationalgalerie
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    Museum Island

    by smirnofforiginal Written Aug 23, 2007

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    In 1999 UNESCO added Museum Island to their list as a World Heritage Site. You only have to have the most fleeting of glances to see why.

    Museum Island is a little island in the River Spree and it's actually here where Berlin's settlement first began, in the Middle Ages.

    On the island you will find Pergamonmuseum, Bodemuseum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Neues Museum, Altes Museum, Berliner Dom, Lustgarten, Palast der Republik, Schlossbrucke & Schlossplatz.

    At the moment there are major renovations going on and the work is said to continue until at least 2010. Until that time you will probably get big cranes in all your pictures and you may not be able to visit all of the museums.

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    Altes Nationalgallerie

    by hojasdehierba Updated Jan 13, 2006

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    This beautifully done temple-like building, with a monumental exterior staircase was opened at 1876. Seriously damaged during Second World War, although it has been reconstructed on two phases: first, after 1948, and recently, at nineties. It presently houses one of the largest collections of XIXth century picture and sculpture in Germany. It has a good display of Impresionist pictures (Degas, Monet, Cezanne, Renoir...) and some Rodin sculptures. German painters are, of course, thoroughly represented.
    Este bonito edificio en forma de templo, con una monumental escalinata exterior fue abierto en 1876. Sufrio serios danhos en la Segunda Guerra Mundia, aunque ha sido reconstruido en dos fases: primero, en 1948, y mas recientemente, en la decada de los noventa. Actualmente alberga una de las mas grandes colecciones de pintura y escultura del siglo XIX de Alemania. Tiene una buena cantidad de cuadros impresionistas (Degas, Monet, Cezanne, Renoir...) y algunas esculturas de Rodin. Por supuesto, los pintores alemanas estan extensamente representados en este museo.

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    Monumental!

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Apr 4, 2007

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    The island features several of the best Berlin museums, though it is currently a "work in progress": The "Neues Museum" is not open to the public due to renovation. There are daytickets that allow you to visit all exhibitions on one ticket (though I would rather recommend seeing one museum a day).

    Highlights:
    1. The Alte Nationalgalerie: mainly 18/19th century paintings in a neo-classical museum building. The best art museum in Germany. View the romantic paintings of Caspar David Friedrich and Schinkel.
    2. Pergamonmuseum: A history museum with the monumental altar of Pergamon and a Babylonian Lion Gate (Ishtar Gate)
    3. Altes Museum: sculptures from antiquity, sometimes special exhibitions. At the moment hosting the Egyptian Collection which will be removed to the "Neues Museum" in 2009.
    4. Bodemuseum: reopened in 2006 - fantastic sculpture collection.

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