Monday, April 25, 2011

Berlin's Beautiful Pergamon Museum

If you ever find yourself in Berlin, a definite must see is the famous Pergamon Museum built from 1910 and opened in 1930 it is located on Museum Island in Berlin which houses five large museums that are worth a visit. When you walk into the Pergamon you enter into the classical antiquities department and the first and largest exhibit is the Zeus Altar (180-160 BC). The altar is so large that it has a huge room all to itself and it the first row of a reassembled acropolis (ancient Greek religious temple) with an amazing frieze (sculpted band) around the base. The frieze depicts the battle between the Olympian gods against the Titans which is called Giantomachy, which the many gods led by Zeus won. Directly after the Zeus Altar you move onto the massive and gorgeous Market Gate of Miletus the entrance way to an ancient mall in Miletus, which was a Greek colony then Roman city in what is modern day western Turkey along the Aegean coast. The gate was destroyed during a earthquake in 1100 AD and was reassembled bit by bit in the Pergamon. The Altar and Market gate took twenty years to assemble and the department holds many impressive sculptures from many Greek and Roman cities of that era. The Near East Museum contains one of the largest collections anywhere of antiquities from ancient Babylonia, Persia, and Assyria. Among the exhibits is the Processional Way of Babylon with the Ishtar Gate, dating from 580 BC, and the throne hall of King Nebuchadnezzar II (604 - 562 BC). Cuneiform clay tablets document a civilization that created ceramics, glass, and metal objects while Europe was still overrun with primitive tribes. In the south wing of the museum is the Museum of Islamic Art, featuring miniatures, carpets, woodcarvings and illuminated manuscripts. The museum provides an excellent 30-minute, English-language recorded tour, which you can pick up at the entrance.

Entrance to Museum Island with Berlin Cathedral and the famous TV tower in the background
Approaching the Pergamon Museum 
Pergamon Entrance
The Zeus Altar
Ancient Greek Statue
Giantomachy Battle, Zues leading the Gods in a battle against the Giants
 Athena holding some poor blokes head, I'm sure it did not turn out well for him
Perfect Mosaic floor
 Columns that show how high the structures were in Ancient times
The Market Gate of Miletus 
More ancient greek and roman statuary and columns
The Ishtar Gate
 Kings Procession Hall of the Ishtar Gate
 One side of the walls of the Procession hall of the Ishtar Gate
 More of the wall of the procession hall of the Ishtar Gate
Video of the room containing the Market Place of Miletus
Video of the Zeus Altar

1 comment:

scott davidson said...

What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.