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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Pergamon is Germany’s most visited museum and one of Berlin’s most prized attractions. A conglomerate of three outstanding collections: Classical Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, and Islamic Art, the Pergamon is revered for its life-sized replicas of some of our world’s most priceless structures, including the 2nd-century BC Pergamon Altar , the 2nd century AD Market Gate of Miletus, and the 6th-century BC Ishtar Gate. Although the museum’s showpiece — long considered its crown jewel — is off limits to the public until 2019, the Pergamon still remains the most worthwhile attraction on the UNESCO-listed Museum Island. The ancient ruins, relics, and architectural treasures housed within the museum, and from which much of the museum is built, makes this one of the most respected historical masterpieces in all of Europe. This is especially true in regards to the Aleppo Room, home of important artifacts from Syria, a conflict-ravaged country which has, in recent years, been progressively losing most of its significant archaeological treasures.
Even the most museum-weary visitor will find it impossible not to be over-awed by the immensity and quality of the Pergamon’s many invaluable collections.
Brief HistoryThe spot in which the Pergamon Museum now stands was the excavation site where the most prominent relics, including panes of the Pergamon Altar, were unearthed between 1878 and 1886. Designed by famous architect Alfred Messel , and built by equally famous Ludwig Hoffmann , the museum was a very ambitious project from the start and took nearly two decades to complete. Built as a three-wing estate, with a separate collection held in each, the Pergamon is currently undergoing a major renovation phase, as part of a much larger Museum Island restructuring. Consequentially, the gallery containing the Pergamon Altar is closed off to the public. Nevertheless, the great majority of collections are still very much on display.
What to See at the PergamonThe museum’s most colossal pieces are a little hard to miss, yet there is a lot more to this incredible place than its most famous artifacts.
Collection of Classical Antiquities (Antikensammlung)Considered one of the world’s greatest collection of ancient Roman and Greek artifacts, the Pergamon’s Antikensammlung is the most outstanding part of the entire museum, and the one where the Pergamon Altar, with its intricately carved depiction of epic battles between Gods VS Giants, stands most proud. Here, you’ll find ancient reliefs, frescoes, jewels, sculptures, and vases. Unfortunately, at time of writing, access to the hall of Classical Antiquities is being greatly hindered by ongoing renovations. Nevertheless, there are still some sections which can be visited. Do note that a selection of antiquities from the Pergamon are on display in the nearby Altes Museum.
Collection of Near East Antiquities (Vorderasiatisches Museum)From the ancient city walls of Babylon, to the Ishtar Gate, Processional Way, Samarian pottery, and Mesopotamian clay tablets, this section of the Pergamon is considered one of the most momentous collections of Eastern art in the entire planet. Over six millennia of Near-east Asian history is visible, palpable, and impressively showcased right here.
Islamic Art Collection (Museum für Islamische Kunst)After the incomparable collection held at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the collection of Islamic Art at the Pergamon is rated as the world’s oldest, best and most comprehensive. The prime showpiece of this section, the ornately decorated facade of the Mshatta Qsar – a desert palace in Jordan – was donated to the museum by Abdul Hamid II, one of the most widely traveled of all the Ottoman Sultans. If you’re partial to vivid colors, rich textures, and exotic ornaments, this may well rate as the most impressive of all the collection. Incredible silk rugs, ivory sculptures, swords, colorful ceramics, and even pages from an ancient Koran are all on display here, among a near endless array of exquisite Middle Eastern treasures.
Admission InfoThe Pergamon Museum is open from 10 a0 feet until 6 p0 feet every day except Thursday, when closing time is extended until 8 p0 feet If you want to save on queuing time, book your tickets online prior to visiting.
Ticket prices: €12 ($14) for adults and €6 ($6.90) for children
Museum Island Ticket: €18 ($21) for adults and €9 ($10) for children. If visiting on a Monday, please do note that the Pergamon and Neues Museums are the only two open on the island.
How to Get ThereMuseum island stands right in the heart of Mitte, Berlin's city center. The best way to reach the Pergamon is via public transport, so get yourself a Welcome Berlin Card which includes free rides on all public transport plus discounts on hundreds of attractions. The only underground which reaches the island is the U6, so from wherever you are, all you have to do is reach Fredrichstrasse Station. from here, it's just a short walk across the bridge.
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Author: Laura Pattara. Last updated: Jun 26, 2015