MUSEUM ISLAND

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1.844.INSIDER

The term “Museum Island” refers to a unique cluster of five world-renowned museums located in the northern part of an island on the Spree River in central Berlin. The island was dedicated to “art and science” by King Frederick William IV of Prussia in 1841 and the ornate collection of museums was designated as UNESCO National Heritage Site in 1999.

The first museum to be built on this site was the Royal (now Altes or Old) Museum which was commissioned by King Friedrich Wilhelm III in 1830. The museum was built to allow the general public to view the royal art treasures of Germany. Restored and reopened in 1966, the Altes Museum now houses ancient Greek and Roman artifacts. The building of the museum resembling a Corinthian temple was built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

Address: Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin
Hours of Operation: Mon closed, Thu 10am – 8pm, All Other Days 10am – 6pm
Web: http://www.smb.museum/en/museums-and-institutions/altes-museum/home

The museum collections were subsequently expanded under the succeeding Prussian kings. Second to be built was the New Museum based on the design by Schinkel’s student Stüler. Destroyed during WWII it was rebuilt as the Egyptian Museum of Berlin and reopened in 2009. Connected to the Old Museum by a walkway, it houses a collection of pre-historic, early history and Egyptian works of art. Its most famous exhibit is the Bust of Nefertiti, the ancient Egyptian queen famous for her beauty.

Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin
Hours of Operation: Fri – Wed 10am – 6pm, Thu 10am – 8pm
Web: smb.museum/en/museums-and-institutions/neues-museum/home

The Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) was completed in 1876 by Stüler to house a collection of 19th century art donated by Joachim Wagener. After reopening in 2001, the Old National Gallery boasts Germany’s largest collection of sculpture and paintings in addition to an excellent display of French impressionist art.

Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin
Hours of Operation: Mon closed, Thu 10am – 8pm, All Other Days 10am – 6pm
Web: smb.museum/en/museums-and-institutions/alte-nationalgalerie/home

The Bode Museum sitting on the island’s northern-most tip opened in 1904 to house late Antique and Byzantine art as well as sculpture collections. It also houses one of the largest numismatic collections in the world.

Address: Am Kupfergraben, 10117 Berlin
Hours of Operation: Mon closed, Thu 10am – 8pm, All Other Days 10am – 6pm
Web: smb.museum/en/museums-and-institutions/bode-museum/home

The last to be built was the Pergamon Museum completed in 1930. Here visitors will find a large collection of Babylonian antiquities including reconstructed and historically significant buildings such as the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon.

Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin
Hours of Operation: Fri – Wed 10am – 6pm, Thu 10am – 8pm
Web: smb.museum/en/museums-and-institutions/pergamonmuseum/home

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