Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Google Cultural Institute
The Pergamonmuseum, the youngest of the five buildings of the Museumsinsel, was opened in 1930. The orientation of the neighbouring buildings to the Lustgarten and the Palace was given up in favour of an axis that was to pass by Humboldt University to the street Unter den Linden and on to the Brandenburger Tor. This shift of the axis and the immensity of the structure permanently changed the historic concept of the Museumsinsel.
This three winged construct drafted by Alfred Messel starting in 1906 was executed after his death by Ludwig Hoffmann under the most difficult of technical as well as political conditions and completed after 20 years of construction. The fourth wing at the Kupfergraben and the portico in the central forum were not realised. Four museums shared the new building, with the Deutsches Museum in the North Wing, the Antikenmuseum (Classical Antiquities) in the central block and the Vorderasiatisches (Ancient Near East) and Islmisches (Islamic Art) museums in the South Wing.
The war damages of 1945 were remedied between 1948 and 1959, with the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Applied Arts) and the Ostasiatisches (Far East) Museum taking the place of the Deutsches Museum in the North Wing. During 1980-1982 a new entrance pavilion was constructed to handle the rapidly rising number of visitors. Indeed, due to its unique exhibition programme of ancient monumental architecture, the Pergamonmuseum has become one of the most popular museums in Berlin, attracting approximately one million visitors every year.
The architect Professor O. M. Ungers from Cologne, who died in 2007, won the competition in 2000 for creation of a closed circuit and for connection to the Archaeological Promenade and the new reception building.
According to these plans, a main circuit is to be created with a supplementary fourth wing which unifies the exhibits of monumental architecture of the Cygyptisches Museum (Egyptian and Ancient Near East Museum), the Vorderasiatisches Museum (Museum of the Ancient Near East), the Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities and the Museum Islamische Kunst (Museum of Islamic Art) into a single presentation. Moreover, the Pergamonmuseum is integrated into the organism of the entire Museumsinsel, whereby the insular character will be experienced in a new quality.
In the future, it will be possible at all times - even when the museums are not open - to walk from the Kolonnadenhof of the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Neues Museum through opened passageways to the Ehrenhof (Honours Courtyard) of the Pergamonmuseum and from there directly to the courtyards of the Bode-Museum without having to leave the island, as had always been the case before. Thus the Ehrenhof will develop a new quality as a forum with a distributor function. There will also be a passageway from the new central reception building (James Simon-Galerie) directly to the main circuit in the Pergamonmuseum. The Archeological Promenade will connect the Pergamonmuseum to both its neighbours, the Neues Museum and the Bode-Museum.
The riches of the Collection of Classical Antiquities, one of the largest in the world for ancient Greek, Etruscan and Roman art, are distributed among three museums on the Berlin Museumsinsel: Greek and roman architecture in monumental 1:1 reconstructions can be admired in the three central halls of the Pergamonmuseum. They will remain there in future for visitors taking the main circuit to experience. The main focus here is the Great Altar of Pergamon, while in the neighbouring hall with Roman architecture the Market Gate of Miletus is of particular interest. The Altes Museum, which is the germ cell of the Museumsinsel, presents the heart of the collection distributed over two floors: antique sculptures, vases, terracottas, bronzes, gold and silver jewellery, gemstones, cameos and glass. One of the most extensive collections of Etruscan art and culture outside Italy has been on display again since 2010 after years of storage. Not least, the Collection of Classical Antiquities has enriched the presentations of the Egyptian Museum and the Museum of Prehistory and Early History, opened in October 2009 in the Neues Museum, with the addition of important archaeological object groups: The main focus here is provided by finds from Cyprus and from the provinces of the Roman Empire. In the central staircase and in the rooms of the Archaelogical Promenade on Level 0, too, there are important items, many of which derive from the major excavations of the collection in Asia Minor (Miletus, Magnesia on the Maeander).
Objects from German excavations in the Land of Two Rivers lend the Vorderasiatisches Museum (Museum of the Ancient Near East) in the South Wing of the Pergamonmuseum its special authenticity. The geographic and historic bow ranges from Uruk via Akkad, Ashur, Nimrod and Niniveh to Babylon, from the fifth millennium BC into Hellenism and extends to the Hittites of Asia Minor and the Achaemenians in Susa and Persepolis in what is now Iran. Since moving into the Pergamonmuseum in 1930 the Vorderasiatisches Museum has had to get by with the main level of the South Wing. When it gains use of the upper level, where the Museum für Islamische Kunst is currently situated, its position as one of the largest museums of ancient oriental art and culture will become quite apparent.
It was Wilhelm von Bode who at the beginning of the 20th century struggled against much opposition to have Islamic art displayed on an equal footing with works from other cultures. Today, the Museum of Islamic Art displays the art of the Islamic peoples from the 8th to the 19th century. These works originated in an area which stretches from Spain to India, with the collection focusing on the art of the Near East including Egypt and Iran. The façade of Mschatta Palace (743-744), the prayer niches of Konya and Kaschan (13th century), a cupola from the Alhambra (around 1320), the Aleppo Room (1600-1603) and an incomparable collection of carpets and writings by hand are the "lighthouses" of the rich stocks which will occupy both levels of the North Wing of the Pergamon Museum.
The Numismatic Collection, which is the largest collection of its kind in Germany, ranges from Greek antiquity into modern times. With its almost 750,000 inventory items, it is a unique archive for historical research, as well as an art museum of high rank with its collection of medals. The Numismatic Collection now has its own rooms for permanent and special exhibits in the Bode Museum, which was reopened in 2006. The Numismatic Collection’s study rooms there are an Eldorado for coin collectors from across the globe. In addition, selected stocks of antique coins are exhibited in the Collection of Classical Antiquities.