Museum Mania

Posted on: February 8th, 2013 by paul

If you’re anything like my family you enjoy finding out about an area history and culture. Many of my family members travel around checking out old castles, forts and museums. If you’re a big museum buff then make your way to Berlin for the ultimate museum experience. Located between the Spree River and the Kupfergraben is Museum Island.

Altes Museum – Photo courtesy of Elias Roviello

This island has five museums, with the first built back in 1830 by King Fruedrich Wilhelm III. This museum, now known as the Altes (Old) Museum, was modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. It was originally built to house Germany’s treasures that were recovered from France but now it houses a vast collection of Greek and Roman art including vases and statues.

The second museum built was the Neues (New) Museum. This museum was built as an extension to the Altes Museum and with the concept for this museum the idea for Museum Island was born. This museum was a monument in the history of construction as it used a number of new industrial techniques such as the use of a steam engine. It now houses a number of ancient Egyptian artifacts.

The third museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) shows a collection of neoclassical, romantic, biedermeier, impressionist and early modernist artwork. While all of the museums were affected during World War I this one may have been hit the heaviest as Nazis destroyed a number of the paintings they considered ‘degenerate’.

The fourth museum is the Bode Museum, located on the northern tip of the island. This museum was closed for repairs for nine years before it reopened in 2006. It is now home to a collection of sculptures, Byzantine art, coins and medals.

The final museum is the Pergamon Museum; this museum took 20 years to build! It houses original monumental buildings from Turkey such as the Pergamon Altar and the Market Gate of Miletus. Of all the museums in Germany this is the most visited, drawing in 1.135 million visitors every year!

Bodes Museum – Photo courtesy of Tim Schleicher


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