Pergamon Museum 3.5 rating


The Pergamon Museum is partially closed for renovation until 2019.

The Pergamon Museum was the last museum built on Museumsinsel (Museum Island) and was intended to house the great acquisitions of Near East and Islamic art brought to Germany by archaeologists in the 18th - 19th century. Constructed from 1910 to 1930, the building was largely destroyed in World War II bombings, but the artifacts were safely stored elsewhere or walled in for protection.

There are three institutions housed within this grand building: ✓Antikensammlung - Collection of Classical Antiquities, ✓Vorderasiatisches Museum - Museum of the Ancient Near East, and ✓Museum für Islamische Kunst - Museum of Islamic Art. A fourth wing is being added during the current renovation to house Egyptian artifacts.

Highlights of the museum are the ✓Pergamon Altar (not on display currently), ✓Market Gate of Miletus, ✓Ishtar Gate and Processional Way, ✓Mshatta Façade, ✓Kalabsha Gate and ✓Sahure Columns.

The marble Pergamon Altar (165 BC), from the eponymous Greek city-state in Asia Minor, is a 3-storey high imposing structure. Dedicated to Zeus and Athena, it is astounding both because of its size (35.6 m x 33.4 m) and extremely precise detail, especially in a 113 metre-long high-relief frieze at the base which depicts the Gigantomachy - Olympian gods battling giants. The stairs lead to a colonnaded superstructure with the actual fire altar that is surrounded by a frieze depicting events from the life of Telephus who founded Pergamon. The roof has several statues including lion griffins, centaurs, gargoyles and a quadriga. On the left hand side of the room, there is a scale model of the altar which allows the viewer to see where the frieze segments would have originally been mounted. A 1:300 scale model of Pergamon city is on the right side of the room.

The Market Gate of Miletus is an ornate 2-storeyed building façade from the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The marble structure is 16 metres tall and 30 metres wide, with 3 doorways and several Corinthian columns.

The blue-tiled Ishtar Gate was the gateway to the inner city of Babylon in the 6th century BC, dedicated to its namesake goddess. The dazzling gate has bas-relief dragons and aurochs, symbolizing gods Marduk and Adad respectively. The Processional Way which ran through the gate was lined with walls adorned with reliefs of lions, dragons, bulls and flowers, parts of which have been given to other museums.

The Mshatta Façade was the decorated part of the facade of the 8th century Qasr Mshatta, an Umayyad residential palace in Jordan. The intricately carved stone reliefs of the desert castle exemplify early Islamic arabesque and millefleur art forms.

The Kalabsha Gate is an ancient gate from the Temple of Kalabsha, the largest free-standing temple in Egyptian Nubia. Built by Emperor Augustus in 30 BC, it was dedicated to Mandulis, the fertility and solar deity. The gate was gifted by the Egyptian government in return for German assistance in the relocation of the temple to a safer location during the construction of the Aswan dam.

The pink granite palmiform columns from the courtyard of King Sahure's mortuary temple that held up the architrave date back to around 2400 BC. Both the Kalabsha Gate and Sahure Columns are currently at the Scharf-Gerstenberg Museum, and will remain there till the new wing is added to the Pergamon.

About Pergamon Museum

 Am Kupfergraben 5, Berlin, Germany

 +49 30 2664242

Pergamon Museum and Nearby Attractions on Map

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9 Pergamon Museum Tickets and Tours in Berlin

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