For the third time in my life I entered the main room with the Pergamon Altar and felt as astonished as on my first visit twenty years ago!
I'm still filled with admiration for the German engineer and archeologist Carl Humann who in 1878 began official excavations on the acropolis of Pergamon and discovered this monumental construction built during the reign of King Eumenes II in the first half of the 2nd century BC on one of the terraces of the acropolis of the ancient city of Pergamon in Asia Minor.
I'm even more admiring the Italian restorers who reassembled the panels comprising the frieze from the thousands of fragments that had been recovered. This frieze depicting the battle between the gods and Titans is regarded a masterpiece of Hellenistic art.
In order to display the result a new museum was erected in 1901 on Berlin's Museum Island and replaced in 1930 with a larger museum still open.
When entering the museum the visitor faces a structure 35 m. wide and 33 m. deep; the front stairway alone is almost 20 meters wide and is crowded with rather noisy visitors (1 million/year) so that one feels as if being on the acropolis of Pergamon two millenary ago.
I have seen other acropolis and agoras of such dimensions but this is the only one inside a museum building!
Pergamon museum was the one I really wanted to visit in my life, that is great I had time to do it in Berlin. It gives you opportunity to see such big historical items as Ashtar gate, Pergamon altar, Gate of Miletus and so on. Also it has a part with colorful Oriental art.
Pergamon building itself was constructed in 1910 - 1930 in neo - classical style. It is located in famous Museum island.
Actually I loved museum, but I should tell, I was thinking it is gonna be bigger. The museum fee for summer 2012 was around 10 euros. It is better to come earlier, as crows of people gathering.
The Pergamon Museum is one of Berlin's main museums, which is located on Museum Island.
It gets its name from the sprawling Pergamon Altar which hails from the ancient city of Pergamon in modern day Turkey. Other major exhibits include a monumental gate from the Greco/Roman city of Miletus, also in modern Turkey, the Ishtar Gate from Babylon and a splendid Islamic Art Museum.
As its one of the most popular museums, it can be crowded. Tickets can be purchased in advanced with a scheduled time of entry.
In addition to the permanent exhibits, there are special temporary ones as well. The big one going on now and at the time was on Uruk, the worlds first major city, dating back to 5000 BCE.
Another astonishing part of the Pergamon museum is that of the monumental reconstruction of archaeological building ensembles of Babylon (modern Iraq).
After passing under the Roman Gate of Miletus the visitor is projected in time and space in the Ancient Near East part of the Museum.
On each of my visits to the museum I was full of admiration seeing the huge (15 m high) mainly blue and orange colored walls of the Ishtar Gate with depictions in colored glazed bricks of lions, bulls, dragons and palm trees from the 6th c. BC under king Nebuchadnezzar II. The Goddess Ishtar Gate opens on the Processional Way of Babylon with about 120 lions lined up on both sides along the walls 180 m long!
Babylon was discovered and excavated starting in 1899 by the German architect and archeologist Robert Koldewey. The reconstruction by meticulously re-assembling the many broken pieces of excavated glazed bricks to approximately the original dimensions at the Pergamon Museum was finished in the 1930s. Some other museums in the world have also obtained a few of these lions (Le Louvre, MET a.o.); it's a fact that they show so much majesty. They were the sacred animal of the Goddess Ishtar.
This is very spectacular but only part of the 14 rooms over 2000 m2 devoted to this collection of Ancient Near East objects originating from the Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian civilizations.
On the right of the Pergamon altar enter another large room to discover the monumental Market Gate of Miletus (Turkey) from the 2nd century AD during the reign of Emperor Hadrian.
It's now the third time I see it and I am still surprised by this two-story marble structure 30 meters wide, 16 meters tall, and 5 meters deep with three doorways and a number of projections and niches.
Years ago I saw a similar monument in Turkey i.e. the Library of Celsus in Ephesus but could not imagine that the German archaeologist Theodor Wiegand would excavate in 1903 the gate of Miletus destroyed in an earthquake in the 10th or 11th century and would bring the 750 tons of fragments to be reassembled in this museum starting in 1925. Of course the monument consists significantly of non-original material but it makes the Roman Miletus visible and speaks to the visitor much more than if it was still subsided into the ground in Turkey.
The monument and the museum suffered from WW II so that restoration was needed and fulfilled in 2008.
I added here a photo from Wikipedia because it was difficult to get a panoramic view with my little camera.
I have to say that the Pergamon Museum is one of the best museums I have ever visited- the visitor experience is amazing. It cost 10 Euros to visit the museum itself and it was the best 10 Euros I spent in Berlin. I queued for about 15 minutes to get in as this museum is extremely popular. To avoid queuing, you should consider booking your tickets online.
On arriving at the museum, you should leave your bags in the lockers provided. Then you are given a set of headphones and a small keypad (for use in the language of your choice) which you can use to guide you around the exhibits and gain a greater insight into what you are seeing.
The main hall is a stunning space occupied primarily by the Pergamon Altar and its accompanying friezes of Greek gods such as Athena and Zeus.
The next room includes a beautifully restored frontage of the Market Gate of Miletus and as you walk through the arch, you turn around to see my favourite oversized exhibit in the museum, the Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon. Seeing the gate in situ at the museum, you can imagine what it must have looked like in 500 BC accompanied by the golden lions that feature on the Processional Way that led to the gate in Babylon. All I can say is it must have been a formidable sight!
The museum is also home to Islamic antiquities such as a collection of colourful carpets and 'mihrabs', niches from a mosque. I also enjoyed seeing the Mshatta Palace facade from the palace of Qasr Mshatta, that dates back to the 8th century AD. It is fascinating to get close up and see the various animal motifs that are not so evident from a distance.
The museum is open daily 10am-6pm except Thursday when it stays open late till 8pm.
I highly recommend a visit to this museum the next time you are in Berlin!
Jaw-dropping exhibits from ancient Babylon, Greece and Rome. The altar of Pergamon is the centerpiece but it was the Processional Way of Babylon that really blew me away. I've never seen an antiquities museum that is anything like it.
As a former history student I had to visit this museum again. I had very good memories from the past about it and it didnt let me down this time.
Only thing I missed this time was the comments from my archeology teacher. It made me realise my student days were a long time behind me. Should have rented one of those tours on tape things but i was stubborn (some will say as usual).
The altar was stunning once again but very crowded. The near ancient history collection was not so familiar to me but I liked it none the less.
Only pity was that the Marketgate of Milete was closed down. It was completly covered up, it is in bad need of restoring. In its current state it will turn to dust very soon.
An interesting collection of ancient artifacts with the main feature being the altar from the temple of Zeus in Pergamon. Also collections of ancient Roman and Greek coins and treasures.
There are electronic guides in several languages.
tue. - sun. 10-18:00 , thurs. 10-22:00
Even though the Museum is named for the Pergamon Altar, for good reason, when you walk through the door to the adjoining room and enter the Ishtar Gate, it is almost a jaw dropping experience. The fully preserved Gate and Processional Way are simply stunning. Considering it was built in the 6th Century BC during the reign of Nebuchadenezar and the condition it is now, it makes you wonder what it was like during its heyday.
If you only have time to visit one museum while in Berlin then the Pergamon's it. The Pergamon Altar, the Gate of Miletus and my favourite the Ishtar Gate are spectacular and so big, one wonders how they got these pieces in the museum. The friezes that adorn the Pergamon Altar depict the war fought between the Giants and the Olympian Gods and is quite spectacular. You can even climb the Altars steps to the top or just sit there and admire Greek ingenuity. The Altar was built in the second century BC.
The Market Gate of Miletus was built in 120 AD by the Romans and although less spectacular than the Pergamon Altar, it is also worth the price of admission. In the same room as the Gate you will find another altar dedicated to Emperors Hadrian and Trajan which is also spectacular.
My favourite was the Ishtar Gate which I couldn't take my eyes off of. The Gate is stunning with its blue glazed tiles and alternating rows of dragons and bulls. The Processional Way with images of lions is just as stunning as the Gate itself. The Gate was built in around 575 BC and was one of the Gates to the inner city of Babylon.
There is also an ancient Near East collection showing architecture, sculptures, inscriptions, mosaics, bronzes, jewelry and pottery. The museum also has an Islamic art exhibit on the second floor with artwork from the 8th century to the 19th century. This is one museum that shouldn't be missed.
The entrance fee is 10euros per person. Opening hours are daily 10-18 and Thursday 10-22. Photography is allowed and there is a free coatcheck and audioguide. Guided tours by arrangement (phone: 030 2 66 36 66)
The Pergamon Museum was designed by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffmann and constructed in the first half of the 20th century. Today it is divided into the antiquity collection, the Middle East museum, and the museum of Islamic art.
- Pergamon Altar - life-size replica
- Market Gate of Miletus - life-size replica
- Ishtar Gate - life-size replica
- Mshatta facade - life-size replica
- Procession Way of Babylon - life-size replica
- Throne room facade of Nebuchadrezzar II - life-size replica
- Greek and Roman antiques: architecture, sculptures, inscriptions, mosaics, bronzes, jewelry and pottery
We have enough time to visit one museum only so we opted for the Pergamon Museum. Right choice.
This is one of the museums on the Museum Island in Berlin. It was built over a period from 1910 to 1930. It houses original-sized, reconstructed monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus and the Isthar Gate, all consisting of parts transported from the original excavation sites.
The museum is subdivided into the antiquity collection, the Middle East museum and the museum of Islamic art. It's visited by approximately 850,000 people every year.
The Pergamon Museum is an another simple reason why anybody with an interest in history would want to go to Berlin.
This museum in effect houses four different museums.....The museum consists of The Antiquity Collection..the Islamic Art Museum....and the The Middle East Museum and was opened in 1930...
The Pergamon is located on Museum Island..and it houses original-sized, reconstructed monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus, and the Ishtar Gate,all transported form theyre original sites in Babylon, Uruk, Assur, Miletus, Priene and Egypt.
This is truly an AMAZING place to spend some time....Unfortunately I was ill on the day that I went here otherwise I could have spent days here...I had to forces mysellf to go....or I would not have seen it at all.
The Pergamonmuseum houses treasures from the ancient world, namely Babylon. The museum itself is named for the famous Pergamon Altar. The Altar, built in 160 BC, fills the entire first room of the museum. It's more of a temple than an altar! The frieze on the wall is of the Greek gods...and you can still see some of the paint around where the images of Zeus and Hera are. Also in the museum is the huge Ishtar Gate from Babylon and a reconstruction of the city walls and marketplace.
Admission is 4 euro and includes an audio guide. This was the only museum we went to in Berlin and we were not disappointed.