Based in Leeds, but exploring Berlin for the next two months.
Published March 24th 2019
Museuminsel, my favourite place in Berlin
Berlin's Museum Island is world famous, and for avid history buffs like me visiting is a dream come true. Heavily damaged during the war, the restoration work on the museums throughout the years has been incredible. Bullet holes are still visible on the front and within of the Neues Museum, and at the entrance of the Altes Museum, you can see where the impressive pillars were reconstructed after the damage from the war.
An €18 (full price) ticket gives you access to all museums, perfect or dedicated museum-hoppers like myself. Reduced tickets are €9. For those who would rather choose one or two museums individually, you can purchase individual tickets too.
Here's a quick breakdown of the five museums on the Insel, and what you can find at each of them:
The gallery is full of treasures: 1,500 sculptures and 1,800 paintings altogether. Here you can find Renoir, Schinkel, Monet, and more.
The Altes Museum has collections of Greek, Etruscan and Roman artefacts and art. From everyday objects to godly statues, you can find yourself face-to-face with Cleopatra herself.
You can find medieval and Byzantine treasures at the Bode-Museum, including an incredible ceiling mosaic from Constantinople and religious relics from medieval Europe. Most fascinating of all is the Beyond Compare: Art from Africa exhibition on the bottom floor. Presenting African artifacts alongside ones from medieval Europe, the exhibit is experimental but has an amazing result, encouraging us to rethink the way we view African art and our Western perceptions.
The reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate is perhaps the most famous part of the Pergamon Museum. Rebuilt in Berlin brick-by-brick in 1930, it left me breathless. Photos cannot do it justice, you just have to see it for yourself. The Syrian exhibition on the upper floor is also incredible, this time showing architecture from Aleppo and other cities. It also mourns the loss of historical sites to the Syrian Civil War in a way that is respectful and powerful at the same time.
My personal favourite of the five has to be the Neues Museum, having harboured a small obsession with Ancient Egypt since my teens. The Ishtar Gate is also one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Don't just take my word for it though, explore the museums for yourselves and see what you love the most!