Berlin museums not to be missed: from classical art to the DDR
Berlincapital of Germany and largest city in the state, it is not only the center of politics but also the fundamental heart for the culture and history of the country. It is no coincidence that the famous is located here Opera, here the unrivaled musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and some world-class museums are located here. A unique collection of masterpieces which, moreover, is concentrated in a narrow and almost entirely pedestrian space: in an extraordinary island – in German it sounds like MuseumsinseL, Moreover UNESCO heritage, where are the largest museums of Berlin.
An island dedicated to beauty
The island is located in the middle of the river spree, in the Mitte district, and is a must-see area of the city. Here you will find many gods oldest and most important museums of the city, including theAltes Museum, built in 1830 to house the Crown Jewels and other royal treasures. Further development saw the construction of the New Museum in 1855, and in 1904, home to one of the best collections of antiquities in the city.
If you have little time and must choose what to see among the museums of Berlin, however, absolutely do not miss the Pergamonmuseum with its grandiose wonders arriving from the Middle East. Also interesting for art lovers is the Alte Nationalgalerie with collections of 19th century paintings.
Museums of Berlin: the Pergamon Altar
The Pergamum museum it houses a unique collection of pieces that is visited by over 850,000 people each year. The name comes from a city in theAnatolia where some of the most important pieces come from.
The first museum dates back to 1830 but the progressive acquisitions made it necessary to expand up to the current site which dates back to 1930 and which allowed the reconstruction of entire buildings inside the museum itself, given the monumentality of the spaces. Fortunately, during the terrible bombings of the war, the building was not seriously damaged. If this is one of Berlin museums most important it is due to some unique pieces including, of course, the Pergamon Altar which also gave it its name, but they are also absolutely extraordinary Gate of the Market of Miletus and the Ishtar Gate.
These treasures are kept in the section dedicated to theAncient art which joins the other two sections: that of Islamic art and that of Near East. In addition to these collections, the museum also houses a fundamental one Numismatic collection made up of about 50,000 coins which can be visited again after a long restoration. The entire museum is actually affected by works. This entails the closure of some parts according to an overall project that involves the entire museum island and which will last at least another year but which will create a connection between the spaces thanks to a archaeological walk.
During this period, therefore, there is the risk of not being able to see all the works: but it is still a visit to be made, making sure to book your ticket in advance in the tourist offices to avoid the long queues.
The art of the Greeks
Continuing our little journey on the island where the Berlin museums are located, we arrive at the Ancient museum Altes Museum housed in a neoclassical building built between 1823 and 1830 and which since 1904 has housed a collection of works Greek, Roman and Etruscan.
A visit to the museum allows you to admire a unique collection of vases, jewels, mosaics and statues from antiquity. In particular on the ground floor you find the pieces coming from Greece with an exhibition of vases among the richest in the world and some extraordinary statues such as the bronze sculpture known as “The boy who prays”. On the first floor, however, pieces of Roman and Etruscan origin are exhibited. The latter is the richest outside Italy. Here you can see statues, some very famous, but also mosaics like the one that comes from Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli.
The New Museum. Which isn’t new
The island that brings together the museums of Berlin never ceases to amaze: and so here is the New Museum. The name is not deceiving: it was built in 1859. What you see now, however, is the result of a complex renovation that began in 2009 and lasted many years under the guidance of the famous architect David Chipperfield who worked on the original structure of Friedrich August Stuler. In his three floors a journey through the history of man takes place starting from the most remote antiquity since the museum houses a space dedicated to prehistory, in the areas of Asia and Europe, from the Paleolithic to the early Middle Ages. And here are some unique pieces like the man’s skull from Neanderthals found at Le Moustier.
On the ground floor there is an area dedicated to Egyptian finds with tombs and sarcophagi with a complex path that is called “Avenue of Archaeology”. Here you can also see finds from the area of theancient Sudan and a complete reconstruction of the ancient burial systems. Going up to upper floor finds related to the cult of the gods are discovered pharaohs and their representations while they are on the second floor papyri and sculptures. Especially the most famous work, namely the bust of Queen Nefertitia unique masterpiece in terms of beauty and state of conservation even if of no less value is another sculpture called “the Berlin green head” of the late Egyptian period.
From Nefertiti to spaces for children
The museum organizes public events which include guided tours of the museum exhibitions to which both children and adults are invited and sometimes also educational workshops aimed at children.
We said it: there are many museums in Berlin. Among these is certainly the Bode Museuminaugurated in 1904, which was originally dedicated to Kaiser but it bears the name of the first curator and is always found on the usual island consecrated to art. Sui two floors of the museum are located Byzantine art And gothic, renaissance And baroque with over 150 paintings and a very rich collection of medals and coins: the preserved pieces are over 500 thousand and there are even coins from the 7th century BC from Asia Minor.
Berlin Museums: Nordic and Italian painting
After so many antiquities we come back closer to us. To do this, let’s dedicate some time to the Gemaldegaleriea splendid space that houses one of the most prestigious collections of european paintings made between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries and which mainly brings together the art collections of Frederick the Great And Frederick William. The authors are the big names in European art from Vermeer to Jan van Eyck, from Rubens to Raffaello, from Botticelli to Titian collected at the headquarters of Potsdamerplatzwhere they are further 3000 works exhibited in more than 7000 square meters.
This certainly makes it one of the most important of museums despite the ravages of war and the fact that, after the creation of the Wall, a part of the works went between East and West. Now the museum is much loved by those who prefer the nordic painting and Flemish: there are in fact no less than sixteen paintings by Rembrandt and fundamental works of Cranach and Albrecht Durer.
Museums of Berlin: the life of the GDR
Finally, our partial journey through the museums of Berlin inevitably takes us to a curious space, certainly far from the magic of ancient art. It is in fact the GDR museum which within a few years, however, has become one of the most visited spaces in the city.
Inaugurated on July 15, 2006the GDR museum is where visitors can get a glimpse into the life that was lived in the former East Germany. Visitors can also learn about the techniques used to defend the Wall and how security issues were handled in the Soviet era.
This museum designed to be hands-on and interactive, allowing visitors to look beyond doors and into drawers to fully explore the rooms housing over 200,000 objects. Not only that: there are also two places to eat the dishes and recipes that were more common in those days. And even by eating you can take a leap into history.