Berlin’s spectacular Pergamon Museum
There are a lot of great museums in Germany’s capital of Berlin, but the Pergamon Museum is not to be missed on your next visit.
Located centrally, in the city’s Museum Island, the museum building was designed by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffman and constructed between 1910-1930, and it attracts over a million visitors every year.
The museum was designed to hold the impressive spoils gained from excavations Germany was carrying out in Babylon, Uruk, Assur and Ancient Egypt. It was the first museum in Europe to be designed to showcase monumental architectural exhibits.
The Museum’s name comes from the monumental Pergamon Altar, the 2nd century BC Ancient Greek altar taken from the city of Pergamon. Pergamon is present-day Bergama, Turkey.
Excavations on this ancient altar took place between 1878 and 1886 by a German engineer, and negotiations allowed the entire series of friezes to be shipped to Berlin, where they were reconstructed in the Museum Island museum.
The market gate from Miletus is another masterpiece in this spectacular museum. Dating back to 100 AD, this market gate is over 16 meters tall and used to stand guard over the Roman Empire town of Miletus in Asia Minor.
This gate is believed to have been commissioned following a successful military campaign, and it is dedicated to the gods Zeus and Athena.
Another spectacular part of the collection is the Ishtar Gate from the ancient city of Babylon, dating back to the 6th century BC. The spectacular glazed bricks in rich blues and golds grace the huge gate itself and the processional way leading up to it.
Much of the Ishtar Gate is reconstructed (including many of the blue bricks), but the lions, which were sacred to the goddess Ishtar (goddess of love and the sky and patron of the army), are originals.
Standing before the exhibit gives you an idea of the vast scale of the construction. The original Processional Way was 180 meters long, and standing before this exhibit, you get a real sense of the awe inspired on viewing this ancient wonder.
A small, scale model provides visitors a sense of true dimensions of the entire complex.
The Assyrian Palace (9th – 13th century) and the Aleppo Room (around 1600) are also must-sees to this spectacular collection.
Even if you have limited time in Berlin, make sure to carve out adequate time to explore this splendid museum and its impressive collection.
The Pergamon Museum is open daily 10 am – 6 pm, with later hours on Thursday. Enjoy your visit back to the ancient world at this spectacular museum.
Leave a Comment