Altes Museum

Berlin, Germany

Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Altes Museum, completed in 1830, is one of the most important buildings of the Neoclassical era. The monumental arrangement of 18 Ionic fluted columns, the expansive atrium and sweeping staircase that invites visitors to ascend to the top, the rotunda adorned with Antique sculptures on all sides as a place to collect one’s thoughts and an explicit reference to Rome’s Pantheon: such signs of architectural refinement had previously only ever been seen in buildings designed for royalty and the nobility.

Today the museum houses the Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities), showcasing its permanent exhibition on the art and culture of the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans. The Münzkabinett complements this sweeping overview of classical antiquity with its display of ancient coins.

The Antikensammlung has a proud tradition spanning more than 350 years. Today, it is not only on show at the Altes Museum, it also has a special display integrated into the permanent exhibition of the Neues Museum, featuring the archaeology of Cyprus and the Roman provinces, and is a core component of the Pergamonmuseum, with its world-famous halls of Antique architecture. The main floor provides an impressive panorama of the art of ancient Greece from the 10th to 1st century BCE. The chronologically divided exhibition contains stone sculptures, vases, craft objects and jewellery in a richly diverse display structured around certain core themes. Highlights include the statue of the "Berlin goddess", the "praying boy", the "amphora of the Berlin painter" and the throned goddess from Taranto. Jewellery made of gold and silver, as well as cut gemstones form a veritable treasure vault beneath the blue firmament of Schinkel’s ceiling design. In a second "blue chamber", objects from the Münzkabinett are on display, in a selection of its most stunning pieces of ancient mintage. They range from the earliest coins from the 7th century BCE made of electrum (an alloy of gold and silver), up to coins from the Roman Empire’s crisis years in the late 3rd century CE. The more than 1300 coins on show form a body of ancient artefacts to be admired within themselves that also impressively corresponds to the art from the same epoch on display.

On the upper floor, the art and archaeology of the Etruscans and the Roman Empire are on view. The collection of Etruscan art is one of the largest anywhere in the world outside Italy; it contains such famous works as the house-shaped urns from Chiusi and the clay tablet from Capua. The collection of Roman art, meanwhile, unveils precious artefacts such as the Hildesheim silver find and portraits of Caesar and Cleopatra.

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Details

Founded: 1823-1830
Category: Museums in Germany
Historical period: German Confederation (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Roman Dostál (8 months ago)
This museum of dedicated to Greek and Roman art: paintings, sculptures, jewelry etc. Don't expect anything more or anything less. If you like antique culture and art, this is the place to go. Recommend.
Jana Krištanová (9 months ago)
I didn't see the museum from the inside, but I attended free walking tour where I heard about the history of the building, its importance for different political regimes in the past, and how was the building used through the ages. If you don't specifically plan to visit the place, I still recommend to get at least some information about the building and its history. Without it, it's just another old building. But in reality, it has much more to offer.
Don Pokocha (11 months ago)
We could buy tickets to this museum at the site on the day. Here you can see lots of beautiful statues and vases significant in the history. Our kids enjoyed seeing lots of statues and vases with audio guide.
Swati Murteli (11 months ago)
Nice museum with lots of artifacts and antiques. The museum has two floors, you will need approximately 2 - 3 hours to explore all the sections. Referring to the floor map and details would be really helpful. It has lots to provide if you are interested in history and antiques. There is a place to keep your belongings, washrooms and cafe in the museum. I loved the lemon cake in the cafe. We had booked our slots on Sunday through the museum on Sundays website. Note: The museum is free on the first Sunday of every month. Slots open 1 week before.
Vin Chenzo (12 months ago)
A good detailed 2 floor history museum depicting Greek artefacts and the like. Good value and free cloakroom facility as they make you store this and any bags. Well worth a visit.
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