Museum Island

  • Blick auf die Museumsinsel

In the historical centre of Berlin, at the northern tip of Spree Island, is the nucleus of the Berlin museum landscape. Following the order of Frederick William III and his architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, a group of temple-like buildings based on the Acropolis were built there. The ensemble with antique buildings around Berlin Cathedral includes the Old Museum, the Old National Gallery, the New Museum, Pergamon Museum, and Bode Museum.

Highlights of Berlin's Museum Island

This worldwide unique work of art offers an immeasurable wealth of art and cultural treasures. The Pergamon Museum houses the reconstructed Zeus altar from Pergamon in Asia Minor in the Collection of Classical Antiquities. The Pergamon Altar, 36m wide and 34m deep, shows the battle of the gods against the giants and is a unique testimony of Greek stonemasonry from around 180-160 BC. The section of the Near East Museum houses the imposing Ishtar Gate with a processional street and parts of the crown hall façade from Babylon from the time of Nebuchadnezzar II. Another highlight of Museum Island is a visit to the New Museum, which houses the famous bust of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. The main wife of King Akhenaton is captivating with her extremely realistic, portrait-like style, which stands in charming contrast to her mysterious charisma.

Art treasures in abundance on Spree Island

Bode Museum houses the sculpture collection, the Numismatic Collection, and the Museum of Byzantine Art. The triangular, neo-baroque domed building rises like a ship's bow into the Spree. The Berlin light rail system crosses Museum Island south of it and separates Bode Museum from the rest of the museum landscape. The Old National Gallery houses 19th century paintings and sculptures. The imposing building is shaped like a Roman temple with Corinthian columns and a large flight of steps. In the western part of the island is the Old Museum with the Lustgarten and the neighbouring Berlin Cathedral. The Old Museum was built in 1824-30 according to designs by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the style of a Greek temple. In front of the mighty row of columns, there is an impressive granite bowl with a diameter of almost 7m. Worked from a Brandenburg boulder, it was supposed to be set up in the museum, but did not fit through the portal. The heart of the museum is the magnificent 23m high rotunda, modelled after the Roman pantheon, whose surrounding gallery supports 20 Corinthian columns.

Go to Museum Island with the Berlin WelcomeCard

The best way to reach Museum Island, a traffic-limited area, is by public transport, which you can use without restrictions with the Berlin WelcomeCard. The all-inclusive Berlin WelcomeCard opens the doors to the museums of Museum Island and ensures you have a comfortable time without worrying about entrance fees. It offers free admission to 30 top attractions and many other discounts on interesting events and restaurants. It is best to book this most popular tourist ticket online before your trip, so you can start your journey of discovery as soon as you arrive.

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