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Humboldt Forum Berlin: Asian Museum
Humboldt Forum Berlin: Asian Museum © © Stiftung Berliner Schloss – Humboldt Forum, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Berlin’s new cultural centre

The historic centre of Berlin in rapid transformation

Berlin’s historical centre is ultra-modern! On and around Museum Island and the new Humboldt Forum, new spaces are being created for experiencing world-class art exhibitions, culture and science. New excavations are also revealing exciting aspects of the city’s urban development.

Read what news you can expect and get a first overview on our infographic:

Infografics Berlin's changing cultural heartland
Infografics Berlin's changing cultural heartland © visitBerlin

Hub: The new Humboldt Forum

In fact, the grand new Humboldt Forum is representative of the dynamic development of the entire historical centre of Berlin: it is ultra-modern! Hidden behind its baroque palace façades are high-tech exhibition and event halls, art collections and conceptual workshop spaces, which can be experienced digitally since the building opened in December 2020.

Humboldt Forum Berlin, Foyer and Eosander Portal
Humboldt Forum Berlin, Foyer and Eosander Portal © SHF, Foto: Alexander Schippel

Since July 2021, the interiors of the new forum are also physically accessible, initially with various exhibitions on the first and second floors. From 22 September, it will then also be possible to visit the famous Ethnological Collections and the Museum of Asian Art on the upper floors. 

A gigantic steel bowl and a wide terrace along the riverbank

A new interactive monument is currently being built in front of the Humboldt Forum to commemorate German reunification: a 50-metre-long kinetic bowl made of steel that can be walked on and that will gently tilt to one side or the other like a pair of scales.

planned freedom and unity monument in Berlin-Mitte
planned freedom and unity monument in Berlin-Mitte © Milla & Partner

A few metres further on, the Schlossfreiheit is being built. This is a wide terrace on the Spree Canal where future bathers can dry off in the sun: the Fluss Bad Berlin project plans to convert this part of the Spree river up to the tip of Museum Island into a swimming area.

Current new openings and exciting projects in and around the Humboldt Forum

In front of Museum Island and the Humboldt Forum, the Museum Island U5 underground station, which is vaulted with an artistic starry sky, has been open since July 2021 and since December 2020 has connected important cultural highlights in Berlin.

U5 Station Museum Island in Berlin Mitte
U5 Station Museum Island © Foto: A.Reetz-Graudenz

The Pergamon Hall of the Pergamon Museum with its world-famous altar and the Hohenzollern Crypt of the Berlin Cathedral, which houses 90 unique coffins and magnificent sarcophagi, are currently undergoing renovation. The historic armoury of the German Historical Museum opposite on Unter den Linden is also undergoing major renovation and will welcome visitors again from the end of 2025.

Fascinating insights into the early urban development of Berlin

A short walk away is Petriplatz - one of the oldest squares in Berlin. In a few years, the House of One will be completed here. This will be a unique religious and architectural gem - three churches will be united under one roof: a mosque, a synagogue and a Christian church - making it a global symbol from the heart of Berlin for interfaith dialogue and tolerance.
Right next door, the city’s new multi-storey Archaeological Visitor Centre will open in 2023. In addition to being an exhibition venue, it will also be a genuine, real-world workplace for Berlin’s archaeologists.
Archaeological windows will be visible beneath both buildings, offering a glimpse into the city’s early history.
Exciting perspectives on early urban development in Berlin will also be provided by the excavations at Molkenmarkt: the nearby Molkenmarkt has consistently been an important centre of Berlin since the city was founded in the Middle Ages. Today it is overlaid with wide main roads and squares. Before its future redevelopment, archaeological traces from 800 years of urban development are now being unearthed and made visible to those interested in guided tours of the site.

Berlin’s international appeal: New museums and a new memorial in the cultural centre of the city

The new children’s museum ANOHA, the Children’s World at the Jewish Museum Berlin, has been delighting young guests and every architecture lover since June 2021: the centrepiece is a huge wooden Noah’s Ark with 150 animal sculptures that can be “played with” and climbed on at will.

Ark of the Children's World Anoha
Ark of the Children's World Anoha © Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Foto: Yves Sucksdorff

The ensemble of Berlin memorials was also enriched in a remarkable way in June 2021: In the heart of the capital at Anhalter Bahnhof, the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation opened with its library and archive - a unique place where the problems of expulsion, displacement and forced migration can be experienced - a challenging and current topic today, as it also was in the past.

A world-renowned museum is once again open to the public at the Kulturforum since August 2021 following extensive renovation work: The New National Gallery Berlin, an architectural icon of the famous architect Mies van der Rohe, built in 1968. The highlight: The careful restoration proceeded according to the principle “As much Mies van der Rohe as possible”, and has resulted in hardly any changes to the extraordinary ambiance of the space.

Exhibition space of the New National Gallery Berlin
Exhibition space of the New National Gallery Berlin © Thomas Bruns

What’s more, the Museum of the 20th Century is under construction in the immediate vicinity. From 2026, it will present world-class art from the second half of the 20th century on around 9,000 square metres of exhibition space.

The year 2022 will start in the new cultural centre with a top-class museum opening on the famous Unter den Linden boulevard: The new Berlin State Library treasury will welcome guests from January 2022 and present unique exhibits of book art in permanent and temporary exhibitions.

In the cultural center of Berlin, the distances are short. Make your walk an experience by also paying attention to the historical and modern sculptures and monuments that are on your way. Take a look at our new compilation Berlin, Capital of Sculptures!

You can find an up-to-date overview of Berlin’s cultural highlights of 2021 on our website. It’s also worthwhile to already take a look at what’s happening in Berlin in 2022.

You can also download our infographic as a PDF.

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