Berlin art guide: A day at the Museum Island, Berlin

The Museum Island, situated right in the heart of Berlin-Mitte, is actually the name of the upper half of the island formed by two branches of Spree river. Five of the city's most popular museums can be found here:
 
Bode-Museum - which houses a remarkable sculpture collection from the first centuries B.C to the Renaissance, the coins' collection and late Antique and Byzantine art.
 
Pergamon Museum - the home of the world-famous Pergamon Altar, the Miletus market gate and the Gate of Ishtar, the antiquity collection, the Middle East museum, and the museum of Islamic art.

Alte Nationalgalerie - a gallery showing a collection of Neoclassical, Romantic, Biedermeier, Impressionist and early Modernist artwork.
 
Neues Museum - whose exhibits include the Egyptian and Prehistory and Early History collections, as well as the iconic Nefertiti bust from Amarna.
 
Altes Museum - a museum housing the Berlin Museums' collection of Classical Antiquities.
 
Evidently there are hundreds of artworks to see at the permanent collections of the five museums mentioned and it is practically impossible to cover them all in a single day but you should also know that there are five remarkable exhibitions going on at the moment that can make your day at the museum island! You can even get a Museum Insel Pass for 18,00 € which will grand you access to all the current exhibitions on the island. Have fun!
 
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Aerial view of the Museum Island. Blick auf die Museumsinsel und das Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. © bpk / DOM Publishers

 
Bode-Museum - One God. Abraham's Legacy on the Nile
Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Egypt from Antiquity until the Middle Ages
Until December 12, 2016
 
In Egypt, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share a very long common history. 'ONE GOD - Abraham's Legacy on the Nile' takes a closer look at the religious life and day-to-day coexistence of the three faith communities in Egypt, from the time of the Romans all the way up to the Fatimid caliphate in the 12th century. The exhibition shows that much can be learned from archaeological finds that reflect the largely peaceful coexistence of the world religions over the course of many centuries, especially when viewed in today's political climate. Over 150 objects from Egypt's rich cultural heritage are being presented, as well as reproductions and documentary photographs.
 
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Bode-Museum. Museumsinsel Berlin, Am Kupfergraben. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Bernd Weingart
 
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Tafelbild des Apa Abraham. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst, Markus Hilbich

 
Pergamonmuseum - Contrast Syria. Photographs by Mohamad Al Roumi
Until October 30, 2016
 
The Syrian photographer Mohamad al-Roumi, whose pictures of his native country constitute an extraordinary life's work, is now showing a different side to Syria in his exhibition “Contrast Syria". Visitors can see pictures taken in Syria's north-eastern provinces during the 1990s, showing the region's nomadic population and the working conditions to be found in its poverty-stricken towns. Many of the people currently arriving in Germany call these parts of Syria their home.
 
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Aesthetic practicality thanks to massive mud walls (Al-Amarne 1995) © Mohamad Al Roumi
 
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Source of life: Water scooping at the Euphrates (As-Sandalia 1990) © Mohamad Al Roumi

 
Alte Nationalgalerie - An Urban Landscape. A 360° Panorama of Rome by Friedrich Loos
Until November 20, 2016
 
City and landscape: although this might initially seem a contradiction in terms, painters have frequently brought the two together. Landscape painting underwent a boom around 1800 and included urban space as a motif. Italy was the destination of numerous art tours, and Rome with its ancient ruins and Mediterranean light offered inspiration for city views that combined long and short perspective in a topographically exact manner. Central to this exhibition is a five-part panorama of Rome painted by Graz-born painter Friedrich Loos in 1850.
 
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Alte Nationalgalerie. Museumsinsel Berlin, Bodestraße. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Maximilian Meisse
 
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Friedrich Loos, Panorama von Rom (V von V), Blick auf S. Giovanni in Laterano, 1850. Öl auf Leinwand 74 x 118 cm, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Alte Nationalgalerie / Andres Kilger

 
Neues Museum - Death in Naples. 125th Anniversary of the Death of Heinrich Schliemann
Until October 30, 2016
 
This special exhibition, is a homage to the archaeologist, collector and patron, Heinrich Schliemann. Selected exhibits from the Trojan Collection and from other excavations, including those at Mycenae, Tiryns and Orchomenos, are presented together for the first time. The special exhibition runs alongside the Neues Museum's permanent exhibition of the Berlin Trojan holdings.
 
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Neues Museum, Ostseite, Eingang. Museumsinsel Berlin, Bodestraße. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Achim Kleuker
 
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„Tod in Neapel“, Illustration von Frank Nikol © Frank Nikol

 
Altes Museum - Dangerous Perfection: Ancient Funerary Vases from Apulia
Until June 18, 2017
 
The focal point of the exhibition is a group of 13 large, elaborately decorated vases from Ceglie del Campo near Bari in Apulia (southern Italy). As grave goods, they provide insight into the funerary customs of the indigenous population's upper classes 2,500 years ago. The vessels are painted with a variety of scenes from Greek mythology, from sudden death in battle and war to a life of ease in Dionysian pastures.
 
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Altes Museum. Museumsinsel Berlin, Am Lustgarten. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Maximilian Meisse
 
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Europa wird von Zeus in Gestalt eines Stieres entführt. Detail der apulischen Amphora. Ton. 4. Jh. v. Chr., Dareios-Maler und Perrone-Gruppe. Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Inv. F 3241. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Antikensammlung, Foto: Johannes Laurentius

 
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