About Museum Island: Museum Island

The Berlin museum complex in may be considered one of the most important world cultural center. It was laid down as far back as in 1810, when William III wanted to open for the public the royal art collections. During 1822-1830 a magnificent building of the Altes (Old) Museum was erected. Its facade was decorated by the impressive portico with 18 Ionic columns of black color – their beauty is very severe.

Later the crown prince Frederick William ordered to build some other museums in the island to the north of the Unter den Linden. So appeared the name of the Museum Island. Between 1843 and 1855 the Neue (new) Museum was built, and then the National Gallery and the Bode Museum, and in 1930 the Pergamon Museum was finished. The buildings of all museums are in the immediate vicinity of one another, so you can consider them as a single complex.

During the last war the Museum Island was much ruined but the museum collections were thoughtfully hidden in the other places. The separation of the city made it impossible to return the collections to their original places. The reconstruction of the Museum Island as a museum center of Germany began only after the reunification of Germany. 5 museums were assigned for the collections of antiquities and archaeological artifacts, and the canvases from the picture gallery (great painters of 15-19 centuries) were moved to the Kulturforum, although the pictures of German painters and impressionists were left at the Old National Gallery in the Museum Island.

The museums contain the most valuable artifacts of the ancient world, Roman and Greek cultures. The most impressive of them is the Altar of Zeus from the city of Pergamon. The altar gave its name to a museum. It was made in 180-160 B.C. Its length is 113 meters. The Pergamon altar was discovered by the German archaeologist Carl Humann and taken to Germany in separate fragments. Also at the museums you can see the Ishtar Gate from Babylon (580 B.C.), the Mshatta Facade of the Umayyad residential palace, the Market Gate of Miletus and many other famous discoveries of German archaeologists.

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