The world heritage of culture
The Museum Island in Berlin is the northern tip of the Spree Island - and it is also a magnificent work of art itself, involving five world-renowned museums gathered in an extraordinary ensemble. The many oustanding exhibits include the Nefertitit and the Pergamon frieze.
Since 1999, the museum complex in the city centre of Berlin has been the only architectural and cultural ensemble that is considered part of UNESCO world heritage. At the southern part of the island, near the Schlossbrücke bridge and the Berlin Cathedral, the Altes Museum (Old Museum) can be found, which is located nearby the Lustgarten. In the northern part, there is the New Museum as well as the Alte Nationalgalerie. On the Kupfergraben side of the island can be found the Pergamon Museum. And last but not least there is the Bode- Museum.
The five museums of Museum Island Berlin
The three-winged Pergamonmuseum by Alfred Messel has about one million visitors per year and thus is the most visited museum in Berlin. Currently, preparations are underway for reconstruction work. Permanent exhibits in the museum such as the Pergamon frieze and the Market Gate of Miletus have already been restored.
Please note: During the current stage of renovations, the hall containing the Pergamon Altar will remain closed to the public for five years, due for reopening in 2019.
After six years of restoration work, the Bode Museum reopened in 2006. The museum houses an extensive collection of sculptures and treasures of the Museum of Byzantine Art and the Numismatic Collection. In the summer, the shore on the other side is a popular place for young people to meet each other and hang out.
In 1841, Friedrich August Stüler started building the Neues Museum (New Museum). He used steam power and industrially fabricated support structures, which was a structural engineering sensation at the time. During the war, the museum was destroyed, and laid in ruins until 1999. Only then did the reconstruction work begin, which ended up lasting for ten years. Since reopening in 2009, the Egyptian Museum and the Museum of Prehistory and Early History have once again found a place to display their treasures in the museum. The showpiece of the New Museum is the bust of Nefertiti.
Like an ancient temple, the museum Alte Nationalgalerie along with its stairway rises above the Museum Island. The model that inspired the architect Friedrich August Stiller was the Acropolis of Athens. It was the first museum to be renovated here and has been open to the public since 2001. Built between 1867 and 1876 the museum Alte Nationalgalerie features works of Classicism, Romanticism, the Biedermeier era, Impressionism and early Modernism.
The architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel designed a neoclassical building for Altes Museum (Old Museum) with a rotunda, dome and portico in 1830. It was thus the first public museum in Prussia. After being destroyed in the war and being rebuilt in the 1960s, the Altes Museum is undergoing renovation work. The museum's permanent exhibition entitled “New Antiquity in the Old Museum" (collection of classical antiquities and gold treasury) presents Greek and Roman art and sculptures.
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