Pergamon Museum, Berlin
The Pergamon Museum on Berlin's Museum Island is entered by way of the bridge over the Kupfergraben.One of the oldest museums of its kind in the world, the Pergamon was designed by A. Messel and Ludwig Hoffman and built between 1903-30, with a long interruption during the First World War.The complex includes the Folk Museum, the Department of Antiquities with the Pergamon Altar, the Near-East Museum, the Islamic Museum, the East Asian Collection and the permanent exhibition labeled "Ancient Coinage" in the Coin Cabinet. At least half a day should be allowed for a visit to the whole of the Pergamon Museum.
Pergamon Museum Map
Official site: www.smb.museum/smb/standorte/index.php?p=2&objID=27&n=15
Address: Am Kupfergraben 5, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
Opening hours: 10am-6pm; Thu: 10am-10pm
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €6.00, Concession or reduced rate €3.00
Guides: Guided tour included with admission. Taped tours for rent.
Pergamon Museum Highlights
The Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin's Pergamon Museum is on the first floor. Its fourteen rooms give a comprehensive view of 4,000 years of history, art and culture in the Near East. Many of the exhibits were discovered by German archaeologists between 1898-1917.It contains important examples of Neo-Babylonian architecture, and is the world's third-largest collection of its kind, with material from the time of Nebuchadnezzar II (603-562 BC), including the monumental Ishtar Gate, the Processional Way and part of the facade of the Throne Room from Babylon. Other examples of monumental architecture from Western Asia are the mosaic wall (c. 3000 BC) and the brick facade (c. 1415 BC) from the Sanctuary of Eanna in Uruk. The gigantic figure of a bird from Tell Halaf (c. 900 BC) and the Victory Stela of King Esarhaddon of Assyria (680-669 BC), and the large Lion Gate from the Citadel of Sinjerli can be found. Smaller objects (small sculpture, cuneiform tablets, etc.) are displayed in the showcases.
A particular attraction is the Pergamon Altar, one of the wonders of the ancient world. The reconstructed altar, dedicated to Zeus and Athena (tutelary goddess of the city of Pergamon in Asia Minor - now Bergama in Turkey), dates from about 180-160 BC, and was brought to Berlin in 1902. The frieze which once went round the whole altar is an example of top quality workmanship. It shows the gods fighting against the giants.Other important exhibits are examples of Hellenistic architecture from Priene, Magnesia and Miletus (gate of the Roman market in Miletus, 165 BC and a restored 3rd c. BC mosaic floor), and early Greek sculptures from Miletus, Samos, Naxos and Attica.The Antique Collection in Charlottenburg complements these collections in the Pergamon Museum.
Museum of Islamic Art
The Islamisches Museum on the second floor of Berlin's Pergamon Museum was established by Wilhelm von Bode in 1904. Its most valuable exhibit is the facade of the desert castle of Mshatta in Jordan (eighth C.), presented to the German Emperor by the Sultan of Turkey. Other important items are the early 17th C. room from Aleppo, a prayer-niche from the Maidan Mosque in Kashan, Persian and Indian miniatures, carpets and woodcarving. During the Second World War this part of the museum suffered heavy losses, and many of the exhibits had to be restored and reconstructed, including the left-hand tower of the Mshatta Castle (completed 1963). The Museum of Islamic Art in Dahlem complements these collections in the Pergamon Museum.
The Museum für Volkskunde (Folk Museum) on the ground floor of Berlin's Pergamon Museum displays restored furniture, household and other equipment, textiles, pottery and ceramics (Winterthur tiled stove, 1665), toys and other examples of folk arts and crafts, as well as the "Grossstadtproletariat" collection. The nucleus of the collection was a private one formed by the doctor Rudolf Virchow (1821- 1902) which passed to the state in 1904. The Folk Museum in Dahlem complements these collections in the Pergamon Museum.
Museum of East Asian Art
The Ostasiatische Sammlung (East Asian Collection), on the second floor of Berlin's Pergamon Museum, was established by Wilhelm von Bode in 1907. It has a large collection of Chinese ceramics, covering a period of more than 4,000 years, together with enamel work, jade and lacquerware. Other items of interest include silks and embroidery of the 18th and 19th C. and Japanese colored woodcuts, sword guards and ceramics. The Museum of East Asian Art in Dahlem complements these collections in the Pergamon Museum.
Map - Pergamon Museum
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