Museums. What can I say about museums. I guess I am not fanatical about them. You have to cover a lot of ground in museums. They are packed with so much stuff that it becomes a mental overload. After a while, one Greek statue looks very much like the other Greek statue. But I do appreciate what they contain. And once in a while, an item jumps out at me and I am fascinated by what I read. So, it is like that old popular tag line promoting the Northern Territory in Australia, “You’ll never never know, if you never never go!”

So, as we hurried along past Berlin Cathedral to escape the persistent showers that feels like it is turning into rain, two things occupied my mind. Firstly, I should have brought a bigger umbrella instead of those travel ones that fold into the size of my mobile phone. It barely sheltered our heads from the rain. And then when you have to keep angling it away from any wind to stop it from turning inside out, I might as well fold it back up into my pocket.

Secondly, I was well aware that Museum Island in Berlin is huge. There is a lot so “museum” on this northern half of an island in the Spree River. In fact, there are five of them in all built over a period of a hundred years from the Altes Museum in 1830 to the Pergamon Museum in 1930. (Technically, the Neues Museum is the newest of the lot having been rebuilt and re-opened in 2009 after it was destroyed in World War II.)

Whichever you look at it, there is a lot to cover on this World Heritage Site. Sounds like I am repeating myself but I think you get the point. Fortunately for me, my wife knows me too well. To head off any whining on my part, she had already done the legwork. Which means she had already picked out some highlights which we must see in addition to a bit of extra time for us to just wander around. In short, my kind of museum visit!

Here are some photos from our time there.

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It was a wet day when we finally made it to the entrance of the Altes Museum. Looking back behind us, we were kind of happy we picked this day to be indoors.
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Before going in, we dried ourselves off among the 18 fluted columns of the Altes Museum. Over the portico reads: “Frederick William III has dedicated this museum to the study of all antiquities and the free arts, 1828”
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The rotunda of the Altes Museum with sculptures surrounding the centre showcasing the worlds of Greeks, Etruscans and Romans.
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Leaving the Altes Museum, we walk along the columnade corridor which also borders along the river Spree
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Our next stop was the Neues Museum. We spent the most of our time here.
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The Museum offers an audio guide which is well worth taking with you. It is jam packed with great commentary. Even the rooms of the museum are historic in itself.
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At the end of this hall is the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti. Looking regal and splendid, she must have been truly captivating in her time.
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As no photos are allowed and I was not going to sneak one, I settled for these Nefertiti mugs instead!
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This is a little model of Tutankhamun I found – you know, the pharoah whose tomb allegedly cursed the ones who discovered it.
The most fascinating of all the displays is this Golden Hat from the Bronze Age. Bought from a private collection, nothing much else is known about its origins.
The most fascinating of all the displays for me is this Golden Hat from the Bronze Age. Bought from a private collection, nothing much else is known about its origins. Made from gold leaf, there are another three like this one but Berlin Gold Hat as this one is called is the most well preserved of them all.
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Deciphering the markings on the hat, it is now known they are not just decorations. In fact, it has been shown that the patterns correspond to times and dates on the lunar and solar calendar. This is simply astonishing! For something created in the Bronze Age, considering the amount of gold and intelligence that went into this, whoever wore this hat must have been very, very special.
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After the Neues Museum, we did not go to into anymore museums. So, here are photos of the others. Right in front of the manicured lawn is The Alte Nationalgalerie.
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The Pergamon Museum is under renovation on the right and as such, disappointingly,  the Pergamon altar is not open to the public. It is expected to re-open in 2019. The James-Simon-Galerie, Central Entrance and Visitor Centre is also being constructed here on the right
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The Bode Museum
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The “lumpy man” as I nicknamed him outside Bode Museum. For some reason, I found him interesting.
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The Bode Museum along the river Spree. (You can see the construction work going on behind it e.g, the cranes)

 

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