Posts Tagged ‘Ishtar Gate of Babylon’

Berlin’s Museum Island

Thursday, January 9th, 2014


Berlin’s Museum Island – Museumsinsel – is one of the city’s most visited attractions. Smack in the center of the German capital, it is located in the northern half of an island in the Spree River. In fact, Museum Island occupies the site of Berlin’s former sister city, Coelln. In 1307 Berlin and Coelln merged into a single town and retained only the name of the former. Today, Museum Island forms a complex of five internationally known museums. During World War II, close to 70% of the museum buildings were destroyed. Following the war, the Allies removed some of the collections. The remainder was split between East and West Berlin. Restoration and modernization of the five museums began following German reunification. In 1999, Museum Island was designed a UNESCO National Heritage site.

Pergamon Altar at the Pergamon Museum on Berlin's Museum Island

Pergamon Altar at the Pergamon Museum on Berlin’s Museum Island

Together the five museums on Berlin’s Museum Island cover 6,000 years of culture and history. Artifacts stretch from civilizations of the Ancient Egyptians and the Ancient Middle East to Greek and Roman Antiquity. On exhibit is also Christian and Islamic art of the Middle Ages and European art of the 19th century. The museums house the following treasures:

— Altes Museum (Old Museum) – Greek and Roman art objects on the first floor. Exhibitions held on the second floor.

— Neues Museum (New Museum) – archaeological objects and Egyptian and Etruscan sculptures. They include the bust of Queen Nefertiti.

— Alte Nationalgallerie (Old National Gallery) – 19th century paintings. Upon completion of the restoration program, it is anticipated that the gallery’s painting collection will be moved to the Bode Museum.

— Bode Museum – sculpture collections and late Antique and Byzantine art.

— Pergamon Museum – ancient architecture. It houses a collection of Greek and Babylonian antiquities, including the 6th century BC Ishtar Gate of Babylon and the 2nd century BC Pergamon Altar, and the 2nd century AD Roman Market Gate of Miletus.


For a sneak peek at the first 20+ pages of my memoir, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, click “Download a free excerpt” on the home page of Walled-In is a story of growing up in Berlin during the Cold War.