Museumsinsel - Museum Island, Berlin

4.5 out of 5 stars 114 Reviews

Bodestraße, Berlin-Mitte

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    Altes Museum

    by alancollins Updated Dec 22, 2008

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    The Altes Museum or Old Museum opened its doors to the public in 1830. The building which was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Modelled on the Greek Stoa in Athens with its Classical 18 colonnade façade. The building was badly damaged during WW2 and reconstruction work continued until 1966. At present the museum houses a collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. One of the biggest attractions at the museum is the bust of Queen Nefertiti, discovered in 1912 and dating back to 1360 B.C. that has pride of place on the ground floor. The museums world famous collection contains altogether some 45,000 objects. Entrance is free between 6pm & 10pm on Thursdays.

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    Pergamon Museum: Journey to the Ancient World

    by iblatt Updated Dec 10, 2008

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    Zeus Altar, Pergamon Museum, Berlin
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    The Pergamon Museum is the most popular museum on Museuminsel. You didn't think that so many tourists would queue up and spend their morning or afernoon in a museum dedicated to ancient Babylonian archeology, but it's a fact.
    When I entered I understood why this museum manages to attract so many visitors: the exhibits are stunning. You don't need to have a university degree in Babylonian archeology to admire the deep blue colors and exotic animal reliefs of the huge Ishtar gate. Walking through this gate you feel like you are in a time machine, walking down the processional way of ancient Babylon in 580 BC. Most of the other Babylonian exhibits are on a much smaller scale, although the stories associated with them cover all aspects of life in ancient Babylon. The audio guide is a good idea, but I found it too long and too detailed. At the time of my visit the exhibition rooms were packed with visitors who were standing still, hardly moving around, listening to the lengthy explanations on their audio guides. It does not do much for the flow of the visit through the museum.

    It was refreshing to go out again unto the main lobby, hop with the time machine to ancient Greece and Asia Minor, and admire the huge Pergamon altar (2nd century BC). The altar took 20 years to rebuild from its pieces. When I climbed the steps of the altar I felt like I was on site in ancient Bergama, and not in a museum in 21st-century Berlin. When you reach the top of the stairs you see the big and impressive frieze, which tells a story from the Greek mythology with amazing life-like figures. The section of classical antiquities also contains the impressive market gates of Miletus, and much more.
    The third part of the museum is dedicated to Islamic art.

    So, you don't need to be a history expert or an archeology buff. Visit the Pergamon Museum and be overwhelmed by the great feats of the ancient world!

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    Pergamon Museum

    by alancollins Updated Dec 22, 2008

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    The Pergamon Museum is one of the five museums sited on Museum Island and the newest. A number of museums have stood on the site, the present one being rebuilt after WW2 after the previous building with faulty foundations was damaged during the war. Today the three winged building houses three separate museums, the Antiquity Collection, the Islamic Art Museum and the Near East Museum. The centre piece of the museum is the large Pergamon Altar which dates from 160BC.
    Opening Hours
    Sun - Wed: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    Thu - Sat: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
    Free entrance between 6pm & 10pm on Thursdays

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    Bode Museum

    by alancollins Updated Aug 25, 2012

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    The Bode Museum was built between 1897 and 1904, and was designed by Ernst von Ihne. It was originally called the Kaiser Friedrich Museum but it was renamed in 1956 after its first curator, Wilhelm von Bode. The museum contains a wide collection of Byznatine art, sculptures, coins and medals. The museum is an unusual triangular shaped building to fit the end of the island and is reached via one of two bridges.

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    Alte Nationalgalerie

    by alancollins Updated May 30, 2008

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    Museum Island is in a state of flux at the moment with renovation work still being carried out on the museums. The Old National Gallery was the first to have its renovation work finished in December 2001. The building first opened its doors in 1876 and was built from a design by Friedrich August Stuler It came into being after a banker called J.H.W. Wagener left his art collection to the king. The building was badly damaged during WW2 like others on Museum Island. The museum contains paintings and sculptures from different periods.
    Opening Hours
    Mon
    closed
    Tue
    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Wed
    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Thu
    10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
    Fri
    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Sat
    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Sun
    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

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    Altes Museum: Superb Antique Collection

    by iblatt Written Oct 21, 2008

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    Nefertiti: Putting a Spell on You
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    The Altes Museum on Museuminsel is the home of a really remarkable antique collection, mainly sculptures but also ceramics and more. The art works are so compelling and so attractively displayed, that you do not have to be a history freak or an amateur archaelologist to admire them.

    There are two floors: the entrance floor contains classical antiquities, mostly Greek. You stand face to face with Pericles, you admire the bronze statue of the "Praying Boy" and learn that most probably this boy was holding some sacrificial vessel and not really holding out his arms in prayer. The classical antique collection was started in 1698, and the museum showcases contain the best of the best.

    The upper floor contains the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection. The star of the Egyptian show is no doubt Queen Nefertiti, probably the most famous ancient Egyptian statue in the world. It is truly enchanting. However there are a lot of other wonderful exhibits (Pharaohs, family group sculptures, scribes, and a cat who also draws many admirers, to name a few).

    One important tip: On Thursday evening the museum is open until 10pm, and entrance is then free!

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    New Museum

    by nicolaitan Updated Feb 18, 2008

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    Nowhere is the cosmopolitan rebirth of East Berlin more openly evident than at the planned reconstruction of the New Museum, heavily damaged during WWII. It was originally built between 1843-55 to house an extensive collection of Egyptian and earlier prehistoric artifacts recovered by German archaeologists in the early 19th Century which could not be displayed in the Old Museum for lack of space. The internal ornate neoclassical decor and construction is one of the last remaining of its type in modern Germany although the building was one of the first to incorporate iron as a building material and benefit from the Industrial Revolution.
    The final repair of the WWII damage is with plans by a controversial British architect David Chipperfield and result will be a truly remarkable building. His plans include replacing the irreparable damage with ultra modern glass steel and wood walls leaving the the remainder with the stigmata of war damage untouched except as necessary for safety.
    Even more avant garde is the concept of unifying all the great museums of Museuminsel into one great museum-event with an underground arcade connecting all the separate buildings into a physical and intellectual continuum. These revolutionary concepts place Berlin in the forefront of the museum industry and typify the New East Berlin with its forward thinking renovation.

    Today, even in the absence of exhibits, the museum is crowded - throngs admiring the ornate columns, painted walls, and neoclassic architecture of the damaged building soon to be replaced. We could not believe the number of visitors and, like them, were pretty much awed by the interior. In the future, the New Museum will again house the Egyptian collection including the famed bust of Nefertiti, the bust of Queen Tiy, and the late Egyptian Green Head of Berlin. Also included will be the prehistoric and early historic artifact section. In the continuum, the New Museum will be the starting and central point for a great ( and protracted ) history and art experience.

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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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    Pergamon Museum

    by croisbeauty Updated Feb 13, 2012

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    Pergamon Museum
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    Pergamon Museum is part of Museum Island and was constructed from 1910 to 1930, by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffmann. The museum is subdivided to the Middle East collection and Museum of Islamic Art. Pergamon houses original-sized reconstructed buildings such as the Permaon Altar and Market Gate of Miletus, all consisting of original parts transported from Turkey. There excist a controversy over the legitimacy of the collection and was suggested that should be returned to country of the excavations.
    After WW II a good part of the collection has been transfered to Russia, partly returned to East Germany in 1858 but still, a significant part of the collection remain in Russia even today.

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    Walk on the path of history and art

    by tauroctonia Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The old museum with the fountain of the Lustgarten

    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.

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    Pergamon Altar to Zeus

    by nicolaitan Updated Feb 17, 2008

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    Athena and Alkyoneos
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    Revelations 2:12 "Pergamos. Where Satan's Throne is"
    Genesis 6:4 "There were giants in those days" - believed to be the fallen angels of Satan.

    The most important room in the Pergamon Museum and perhaps in all of Berlin's museums holds the Pergamon Altar to Zeus, built 180-160 BC to document the military victories of Eumenes II in Asia Minor and is considered the finest existing example of heroic Hellenic art.
    Pergamon saw itself as the inheritor of the Greek tradition and drew upon its history and gods in the design of the altar. Excavation was in the late 19th Century by German archaeologists who shipped the many parts home ( the museum was designed around this great altar ). Reconstruction took over 20 years. Chief Nazi architect Albert Speer used the altar as a model for the Zeppelintribune in Nuremberg with Hitler's podium in the center. After WWII, the frieze was removed to Leningrad"s Hermitage, but the piece was returned to Germany in 1958 by Nikita Krushchev.

    The most striking feature is the high relief frieze over 370 feet long depicting the war of the gods and the giants ( called the gigantomachy) . The frieze is divided into multiple discrete groupings of characters, appparently each created by a different workshop with some containing the names and cities of the sculptors inscribed in the margins. It documents the defeat of the children of the earth mother Ge by the Olympian Gods. The two most famous sculptures are pictured - Zeus subduing three giants at one time and Athena grabbing Alkyoneos by the hair prior to killing him. Other segments depict the genealogy of the Titans and the Gods, including a segment devoted to Nyx, the goddess of darkness and mortality often believed to represent Proserpina.

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    Ishtar Gate and Processional Way

    by nicolaitan Updated Feb 17, 2008

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    Processional Way Lion
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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.

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    Pergamonmuseum

    by fipsi Written Aug 27, 2004

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    Pergamon Museum and the Ishtar-gate of Babylon

    Constructed between 1909 and 1930, it is one of the oldest museums of its kind. The three sections are the Antique Collection, the Museum of Islamistic Art and the Museum of Vorderasien (i'm sorry, don't know how to translate that....).

    It is famous for the altar of Pergamon (that gave the museum its name) and the Ishtar-gate of Babylon with its procession-street. Even if you are not really interested in antique stones you should not miss it. Nevertheless the museum needs a restauration. So hurry up before they close it for a long time!

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    The pergamon

    by lina112 Written Jul 24, 2009

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    If you only have time to visit one of the museums of the island, you should certainly choose the Pergamon, a veritable feast of art Greek, Babylonian, Roman, Islamic and Middle Eastern found by German archaeologists in the early nineteenth century. The museum houses three major collections: the collection of classical antiquities, the museum of antiquities in the Middle East and the Museum of Islamic Art.

    Si solo tienes tiempo para visitar uno de los museos de la isla, debes sin duda elegir el pergamon, un verdadero festin de arte griego, babilonio, romano, islamico y de oriente proximo hallado por los arqueologos alemanes a principios del siglo XIX. El museo alberga tres importantes colecciones: la coleccion de antiguedades clásicas, el museo de antiguedades de oriente proximo y el museo de arte islamico.

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    Pergamon Museum

    by Sjalen Updated Nov 7, 2005

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    Pergamon Altar
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    The guide book told us that if we only had time for one museum whilst in Berlin, this was it. They weren't wrong! I am so glad we took time to see the ground floor of this great museum which is the "British Museum of Germany" in my definition. "Stolen" from their original countries by German archaeologists, treasures include the Pergamon Altar which gives the museum its name. This is a fantastic part of an altar found in the old Greek city of that name in today's Turkey. Just as you think that is overwhelming, you enter the next room, where the market gate of Miletus leaves you gobsmacked and that's despite being covered behind a net due to a several years long restoration of the war damaged and generally crumbling treasure. Then you enter yet another room and awe strikes again as you face the reconstructed wall and Ishtar Gate from Babylon in Nebudchanezzar II's time! If you weren't indoors, it would feel like somewhere out of a desert town film scene classic, only much more real, with the walls full of religious creatures mixed from strong animals.

    These were some of the more famous things we looked at but the museum also houses Islamic art and various temporary exhibitions such as one on Herculaneum that we also saw.

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