If you’re fascinated by the ancient sites of Greece and Rome, then you’ll love the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, one of the highlights of the Museuminsel or Museum Island where you’ll also find several other major museums and galleries. Although I didn’t get time to visit the others when we were there last spring, the Pergamon has the reputation for ‘If you only see one, see this one’
Even if you’re not normally one to hang out at ancient monuments, this museum is a great place to get a manageable taste of the antiquities in under an hour when you just see the highlights with the audio-tour. The museum gets it’s name from the huge Pergamon Altar which is more of a complete building frontage, that has been transported into the first room of the museum. Here you can sit on the very steps of the building which once stood in Turkey as you listen to the audio-guide and view the figures on the frieze at close quarters – once they were painted in bright colours and gilding rather than the current stark white marble.
Next you walk through the huge Roman market Gate of Miletus, and imagine the high walls that once surrounded it and the bustle of people passing through. Then just when you may be getting tired on the monochrome marble and stonework comes a burst of colour in the colbalt blue Ishtar gate, from the Babylon of King Nebuchadnezzar, with amazingly preserved tilework of horses and lions along the processional way.
Once you’ve completed the audio-guide with these highlights, there are many other interesting things to explore in the museum, but we had teenagers in tow and they had reached their culture limit by that time and we had to move on.
If you’re on a budget, it’s worth noting that there is free entry to the museums on all on Thursday evenings and that children under 16 are free.
All photos by Heatheronhertravels
More on European Museums
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