Pergamon Museum

Berlin, Germany

The Pergamon Museum was designed by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffmann and was constructed in twenty years, from 1910 to 1930. The Pergamon Museum houses original-sized, reconstructed monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Altar and the Market Gate of Miletus, all consisting of parts transported from Turkey.

The museum is subdivided into the antiquity collection, the Middle East museum, and the museum of Islamic art. The museum is visited by approximately 1,135,000 people every year, making it the most visited art museum in Germany.

By the time the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum on Museum Island (today the Bodemuseum) had opened, it was clear that the museum was not large enough to host all of the art and archaeological treasures excavated under German supervision. Excavations were underway in Babylon, Uruk, Assur, Miletus, Priene and Egypt, and objects from these sites could not be properly displayed within the existing German museum system. As early as 1907, Wilhelm von Bode, the director of the Kaiser-Friedrich-Wilhelm-Museum had plans to build a new museum nearby to accommodate ancient architecture, German post-antiquity art, and Middle Eastern and Islamic art.

This large three-wing museum had been in planning since 1907; when Alfred Messel died in 1909 his close friend Ludwig Hoffman took charge of construction, which began in 1910. The construction continued during the First World War (1918) and the great inflation of the 1920s. In 1930, the building hosting the four museums opened.

The Pergamon Museum was severely damaged during the air attack on Berlin at the end of the Second World War. Many of the display objects were stored in safe places, and some of the large pieces were walled in for protection. In 1945, the Red Army collected all of the loose museum items, either as war booty or, ostensibly, to rescue them from looting and fires then raging in Berlin. Not until 1958 were most of the objects returned to East Germany. Significant parts of the collection remain in Russia. Some are currently stored in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow and the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg.



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Founded: 1910
Category: Museums in Germany
Historical period: German Empire (Germany)


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Bruno Dominoni de Araujo (8 months ago)
Best museum in town. The palace isn't big but the collection is very rich and extensive. You can learn a lot and stay inside for hours. Make sure to book your ticket prior, I went on a weekend and Saturday it was fully booked...
Adrien Mammino (10 months ago)
Museum is fantastic. But don't be fooled when reading the website. "Stay as long as you like" = until 6pm when we kick you out but are happy to sell you a full price 5pm time ticket. Please remove that line from your website. I wouldn't have booked that slot had I known.
Michelle O' Leary (12 months ago)
An absolute must visit on Museum Island! The panoramic experience is one of the most surreal exhibitions I've ever been to! Will definitely be going back to see the altar as it was closed when I was there.
Vizma Boļše (15 months ago)
You must reserve a time slot, even with the Berlin Museum Pass. I would not recommend reserving the last time slot (from 17.15) as the museum closes at 18.00 and it is not physically possible to see the whole museum during that time. I was quite disappointed that I could not see half of the exposition due to this issue. The time slots get booked very quickly so reserve your time a few days before.
Nhat Nguyen (15 months ago)
The museum is currently under construction and has only 1/3 accessible. The exhibited item are quite boring except for the Gate of Ishtar. If you have the all access pass then maybe have a quick look.
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