Today's Bode Museum can be credited to Princess Victoria, the sister of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who wanted to establish an art museum. Art historian Wilhelm Bode took up the cause and brought it to fruition. Ernst von Ihne, the court architect, then built this building on the tip of Museum Island between 1897 and 1904 according to plans drawn up by Bode. On 18 October 1904, the museum was officially opened to mark the birthday of Kaiser Friedrich III, the father of Princess Victoria and Kaiser Wilhelm II who had died in 1888. It was originally called the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in his memory.
The building is located on the northern tip of Museum Island and was built in a Neo-Baroque architectural style. Despite the odd shape of the piece of land on which the museum was built, the building manages to appear fully symmetrical in the shape of an isosceles triangle.
Today, the Bode Museum houses the Prussian state collection of sculpture from the early Middle Ages through the late 18th century as well as selected paintings from the Gemäldegalerie, the Museum of Byzantine Art from the period between the 3rd and 15th centuries, and the state coin collection.