The Pergamon Museum is a world famous archaeological museum situated on Museum Island (Museumsinsel). The museum is made up of 3 smaller museums:
- The Collection of Classical Antiquities
- The Museum of the Ancient Near East
- The Museum of Islamic Art.
1) The Collection of Classical Antiquities contains the 2nd century BC Pergamon alter. Well, about one third of it anyway. This is the spectacular sight that greets you when you first enter the main museum. Not a bad first impression to make. On the walls of this alter and the walls of the museum room there is a frieze depicting a battle between the ancient Gods and Giants. Whilst this is centuries old and the fact that some of it still exists is impressive, the actual frieze itself I found somewhat lacking. It’s in very bad condition and is fairly difficult to make out what is going on. Of course there is an audio guide speaking telling you the stories depicted in this frieze but even this I found ever so slightly dull. However, if you’re into that period in history then I imagine you would find it far more interesting than I did.
As you go into the second room you are faced with the Market Gate of Miletus. Now this, in my opinion, is far more impressive. It is the largest monument to ever have been reconstructed in a museum which is very easy to believe as the sheer size of it means it takes up the entire space from floor to ceiling.
2) The Museum of the Ancient Near East is well worth a look. It is one of the world’s best collections of treasures from this
ancient region. The most spectacular of which has to be the Gate of Babylon made out of bright blue glazed bricks decorated with images of the major gods of babylon and dates back to the 6th century BC.
3) Textiles make up a major part of the Museum of Islamic Art. It all started with a major donation by Willhelm von Bode of precious carpets from Iran, Egypt, Asia Minor and the Caucuses. A major attraction here is the 17th century Aleppo Zimmer, a vividly coloured and decorated merchant’s house from the Syrian city of Aleppo. These rooms were where hosts met with their guests. Hospitality is a very important feature of Middle Eastern culture and these rooms were designed specifically for this function.