Pergamon Museum

Pergamon Museum (18)

Of all the museums on the Island of Museums, the Pergamo is the biggest and also the most spectacular. It was built in 1930 in the style of a Babylonian temple and designed by the architects Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffman.   

Initially, the museum consisted of only one building, however it was very soon realized that the King of Prussia’s collections would not fit into just one space. Therefore, an enlargement process was started, transforming the museum into a building with three wings.

Bombing during the Second World War caused the museum to be badly damaged and for safety reasons its contents were moved to hiding places inside the same building, some were also taken all the way to Russia. After the war, part of the heritage collection returned to its original home, however some objects still remain in Russia, at the Hermitage and Pushkin Museum. 

If you only have a short amount of time to spend on the island and can only visit one museum, it is well worth making it this one. This is because it is home to some of the most impressive and valuable objects in the world. Its contents include the largest collection of Islamic art from Europe and Asia Minor, as well as rich collections of other art from many periods. 

However, without doubt, the museum’s star attraction is the Pergamo Altar, a piece you really should not miss seeing. Dating back to the year 170 B.C, its frieze measures 113 metres and it features more than 100 figures spectacularly portraying a battle between Gods and giants.

You can also see here the propylaen gate of the temple of Athena, Goddess of wisdom and the huge columns of the temple of Artemis, Goddess of hunting.  

You should also have a look at the Door of the Mileto Roman Market as well as the Door of Astarte. Rebuilt piece by piece, they are works of incalculable value, each part transported to the museum from the excavation sites where it was found.

You will marvel too at the pieces inside the Museum of the Ancient Middle East, and the Museum of Islamic Art, consisting of halls replete with exquisitely beautiful Greek and Roman sculptures. It is a museum you really must not miss. 

The richness in content of this museum is mainly thanks to the hard work put in by German archaeologists while excavating in parts of the Middle East during the 19th century: their amazing discoveries were brought straight to the Pergamo Museum, which nowadays receives 850,000 visitors a year.   

This building will be partly renovated from 2008 onwards, however it will remain open to the public.

We especially recommend you make use of the free audio-guide on offer at the entrance, so that you do not miss out on anything inside.

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