The Pergamon Museum is one of five museums located on the Museum Island in the center of Berlin. World-renowned, the Pergamon Museum is one of the main attractions and also the most visited museum in Berlin.
There is no doubt that the Pergamon deserves this record because its collection includes monumental and fantastic pieces and it houses ancient treasures of enormous cultural value. You need at least a few hours of your time to visit the museum, as it is immense.
History of the museum
The Pergamon Museum was designed by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffmann and was built on the same site as a smaller museum that already displayed collections of archaeological finds from ancient cities such as Pergamon, Priene and Magnesia.
This first building was demolished and the present building of the Pergamon Museum was built between 1910 and 1930 with three monumental wings, one central and two lateral. The museum had become small and inadequate to properly house the monumental objects that were found during new archaeological excavations.
How best to visit
The Pergamon Museum is organized into three distinct sections: the Classical Antiquities Collection, the Museum of the Ancient Middle East and the Museum of Islamic Art.
- The classical antiquities collection includes objects and architectural remains from Greek and Roman antiquity. The highlight of this collection is the Altar of Pergamon, a monumental structure from the 2nd century BC. The altar was built for Zeus in the ancient Greek city of Pergamos (now called Bergama and part of Turkey). The Pergamon altar was rebuilt in its original size in the Pergamon Museum and for this reason the museum is named after it.
You can also see the no less impressive Miletus Market Gate, a 2nd century Roman building. It is the monumental 17 meters high and 29 meters wide facade that gave access to the market of the ancient city of Mileto (today in Turkey).
Examples of Greek architecture are also part of this collection, which can be found in the Greek Architecture Hall, in the north hall where the Pergamon altar is located.
- The Museum of the Ancient Middle East houses one of the largest and richest collections of antiquities from Babylon, Sumeria and Assyria. It has more than 6 thousand years of history, divided into 14 rooms, on an exhibition area of 2000 square meters that give us a magnificent and rich impression of millennia-old cultures and civilizations.
Among the relics on display are the magnificent reconstructions of the façade of the throne room of King Nebuchadnezzar II, the Gate of Ishtar and the Processional Way of Babylon. The Gate of Ishtar was one of eight gates in the wall that surrounded Babylon and provided access to the city, while the Processional Way was the path that led to the gate. The processional way was the path that led to the gate. The processional way was more exuberant, lined with beautifully decorated walls, and used on festive occasions such as the procession of the gods.
Also in the Babylonian Hall is a model of the Tower of Babel and a copy of the Code of Hammurabi, one of the oldest sets of laws written by King Hammurabi.
- Also of note in the collection of the Museum of the Ancient Middle East are reconstructions of parts of temple facades in the city of Uruk in Sumeria and clay tablets with cuneiform inscriptions, also found in Uruk, that document the beginning of writing.
As its name suggests, the Museum of Islamic Art exhibits the art of Islamic peoples. The works of art on display range from the 8th to the 19th century and come from many places, from Spain to India, but the focus is on the Middle East, including Egypt and Iran.
In addition to these collections, the Pergamon Museum presents another exhibition entitled “Panorama Pergamo: Masterpieces of the Ancient Metropolis with a 360° panorama by Yadegar Asisi” which shows the magnificent Panorama Asisi, a graphic reconstruction of the ancient city of Pergamon.
How to get to the Pergamon Museum
The Pergamon Museum is open every day of the week from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and on Thursdays it is open until 8:00 pm.
The price of the ticket is between 9 and 19 euros ($11 and $23) Children and teenagers up to 18 years old do not pay and there are discounts for students. The Pergamon Museum offers audioguides in several languages and they do not cost extra.
S-Bahn: Lines S1, S2 and S25, station Friedrichstrasse; Lines S5, S7 and S75, station Hackescher Markt
U-Bahn: line U6, station Friedrichstrasse
Bus: Lines 100 and 200, Lustgarten stop; TXL line, Staatsoper stop
Streetcar: lines M1 and 12, stop Am Kupfergraben; lines M4, M5 and M6, stop Hackescher Markt
Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin