Berlin Museum – Altes Museum Berlin on Museum Island:
Situated on Berlin’s famous Museum Island, the Altes Museum Berlin building is one of the most beautiful and important works in Neo-Classical architecture in the world.
Previously a Royal Museum
Designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel the Altes Museum was built between 1823 and 1830. The Museum was originally intended to house all of Berlin’s royal art collection and until 1845, it was called the Königliches Museum (Royal Museum). It was King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia, a strong proponent of the “Humboldt” ideal for education, who charged Karl Friedrich Schinkel with planning a public museum for the royal art collection.
The museum’s exterior is most impressive, and its Greek classical influence is obvious in the 18 Ionic columns supporting its high portico. Inside however, its Rotunda is an explicit reference to the Pantheon in Rome.
Sitting on top of the eighteen Ionic columns are eighteen sandstone eagles. The inscription across the top of the portico reads:
FRIDERICVS GVILHELMVS III. STVDIO ANTIQVITATIS OMNIGENAE ET ARTIVM LIBERALIVM MVSEVM CONSTITVIT MDCCCXXVIII — Friedrich Wilhelm III founded this museum for the study of all forms of antiquities and of the liberal arts in 1828.
A World Heritage Site
The Altes Museum was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
Since 1904, the Altes Museum has housed the Collection of Classical Antiquities, comprising Greek and Roman art and sculptures. The building was severely damaged by fire during World War II and reconstruction work continued up until 1966. Since 1998 its magnificent Collection of Classical Antiquities, including the treasury, has been displayed on the ground floor of the Altes Museum.
The Altes Museum is open 7 days a week from 10:00 – 18:00 (up to 22:00 on Thursdays).
How to Get There:
If you walk eastwards along Unter den Linden towards the Museum Island, you can’t miss the Museum. The Altes Museum is also easily reachable by U-Bahn (U6 – Friedrichstraße), S-Bahn (S1, S2, S25 (Friedrichstraße); S5, S7, S75 (Hackescher Markt) and by Tram M1, 12 (Am Kupfergraben); M4, M5, M6 (Hackescher Markt).
Altes Museum Berlin