Berlin's world-famous Museum Island lies between the River Spree and Kupfergraben. The buildings on the island accommodate the archaeological collections and art of the 19th century. Development of the building complex began with the Altes Museum which was designed by Schinkel. In this building, King Frederick William III made art treasures accessible to the public for the first time in 1830.
When the Pergamon Museum opened in 1930, it marked the completion of the Museum
Island complex. During the Second World War up to seventy per cent of the buildings
were destroyed. A huge reconstruction and modernization programme is currently
under way to overcome the results of the war and division. The original collections
which were divided between east and west after the war are now being reorganized
and, in the majority of cases, reunited.
The Pergamon Museum is one of the oldest museums of its kind. It
Antiquity collection: Pergamon Altar, Market Gate by Milet. Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum of Islamic Art): Mschatta Fašade (8th century, Jordan), Aleppo Room (17th century), art and arts and crafts from the Islamic world from the 8th - 19th century. Vorderasiatisches Museum (Museum of Anterior Asia): Ischtar Gate with processional road, world-famous exhibits from the Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian and North Syrian - East Anatolian regions, modern-day Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
Collection of Classical Antiquities
The Collection of Classical Antiquities contains Greek and Roman works including not only architectural remains, sculptures and vases, inscriptions and mosaics but also bronzes and jewellery. It is on display in two locations: the Pergamon Museum and the main floor of the Altes Museum.
Main attractions: Pergamon Altar, Market Gate by Milet.
Museum of Islamic Art
The museum is situated in the south wing of the Pergamon Museum. Its newly arranged permanent exhibition is dedicated to the art of Islamic peoples from the eighth to the nineteenth century. The works of art originate from the vast area stretching from Spain to India. The collection's main focus is on the Middle East including Egypt and Iran.
Main attractions: Mschatta Fašade (8th century, Jordan), Aleppo Room (17th century), art and arts and crafts from the Islamic world from the 8th - 19th century.
Museum of Ancient Near Eastern Art
The Museum of Western Asiatic Antiquities ranks alongside the Louvre and the British Museum as one of the world's leading museums of ancient oriental treasures. Shown in an area covering 2,000 square metres the exhibits convey an impression of six thousand years of history, culture and art in the ancient Near East.
Main attractions: Ischtar Gate with processional road, world-famous exhibits from the Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian and North Syrian - East Anatolian regions, modern-day Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
Altes Museum (Old Museum)
Main story: permanent exhibition "New Antiquity in the Altes Museum (Old Museum)" (Antiquity Collection): Greek and Roman art and sculptures. The centerpiece of the collection is the art of the Etruscans, which will not be on show until the thorough renovation of the house has been completed.
Upper story: special exhibitions.
Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Galerie)
19th century art: Works by Adolph von Menzel, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne and sculptures by August Rodin, Anselm Feuerbach, Arnold Böcklin, Hans von Marees, Max Liebermann and Louis Corinth.
Closed for moderization at present. Part of the collection is on show in the Collection of Classical Antiquities at the Pergamon Museum, and at the Museum of Pre- and Early History)
Children's Gallery (closed at present)
Neues Museum (New Museum)
Is currently being restored to accommodate the Egyptian
Museum and the Museum of Pre- and Early History.