What’s there to see in the Pergamon Museum?The Pergamon Museum is home to pieces from 3 of the Berlin State Museums’ collections: the Collection of Classical Antiquities (Antikensammlung), the Museum of the Ancient Near East (Vorderasiatisches Museum), and the Museum of Islamic Art (Museum für Islamische Kunst). The museum is renowned for the monumental architecture which has been rebuilt inside its halls, especially the Pergamon Altar (currently being renovated), the Ishtar Gate from Babylon, and the Market Gate of Miletus.
Why is it called the Pergamon Museum?It’s named the Pergamon Museum after one of the museum’s most impressive exhibits, the monumental Pergamon Altar. 116 feet (35.64m) wide and 109 feet (33.4m) deep, the massive structure was taken from the ancient Greek city of Pergamon (in present-day Turkey), before being rebuilt and displayed in the purpose-built museum on the Museum Island in Berlin. It has two friezes, one of which tells the story of the battle of the Olympian gods against the giants (the Gigantomachy), and one of which depicts the life of Telephus, the legendary son of Herakles. The Pergamon Altar was closed for renovation in 2014 and is due to be reopened at some time in late 2019 or early 2020. Due to the vibrations from the renovations, some of the more delicate exhibits have also been removed.
Is the museum interesting to children?It really depends on the child and their interests. There are several exhibits which might be interesting to children as long as accompanying adults can explain the history of the object to them, but the information boards around the museum and the audio guide aren’t designed with children as their target audience. That being said, a child who is really interested in the ancient Greeks or Romans might find a great deal to interest them in the museum, even without child-oriented materials!
How long should I expect to spend in the museum?You can easily walk through the museum and see the most famous and monumental exhibits within 1 to 2 hours. If you’re using the audio guide or you enjoy lingering over interesting pieces then your visit will probably take closer to 3 or 4 hours.