Pergamon Museum - Pergamon Museum information and pictures

The Pergamon Museum forms part of the Museum Island in the Mitte district of Berlin. Designed by the renowned architect Alfred Mussel and Luwig Hoffman, the building was completed between 1910 and 1930. The museum was seriously damaged during the bombing campaign on Berlin at the end of the Second World War. Fortunately, the majority of objects were safely stored while some large display pieces were walled to ensure protection. In 1945, the Soviet army ceased all loose objects, some as war booty, with others being rescued from fires and looting. Most display items were returned to East Germany in 1958, but some are stored in the Hermitage and the Pushkin Museum. Russia and Germany arranged the return of the remaining items in a treaty but the process is blocked by restitution laws adopted by Russia in 2003.

Among the featured pieces on display are the Mshatta façade, the Pergamon altar, the Ishtar gate, and the Market Gate of Miletus. The Pergamon altar is a colossal structure built on a terrace of the Pergamon’s acropolis during the rule of King Eumenes II in 2 century BC. The remains of the Market Gate of Miletus, an ancient Anatolian city, date back to 120 AD and were excavated by Theodor Wiegland between 1899 and 1913. The Ishtar Gate was constructed on the order of Nebuchadnezzar II in 575 BC as the eight gate to Babylon’s inner city. The colossal structure was dedicated to the Goddess Ishtar and built from blue glazed tiles with bas-relief aurochs and dragons. The Mshatta façade is an 8th century façade from the Qasr Mshatta residential palace and a gift to Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II.

The Antiquity collection belonged to the Electors of Brandenburg and was first opened to the public in 1830. With excavation works carried in Pergamon, Olympia, Miletus, Samos, Cyprus, Didyma, Magnesia, and Prience, the collection expanded considerably. At present, the objects are divided between the Altes Museum (Old Museum) and the Pergamon Museum. Items on display are sculptures from the archaic to Hellenistic periods and works of art from the Roman and Greek antiquity: inscriptions, sculptures, architecture, mosaics, pottery, jewelry, and bronzes. With the opening of the Bode Museum (1904), an Islamic arts section was created and moved to the Pergamon Museum in 1950.

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