Island), Berlin (1999)
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The museum as a social phenomenon owes its origins to the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. The five museums on the Museumsinsel in Berlin, built between 1824 and 1930, are the realization of a visionary project and show the evolution of approaches to museum design over the course of the 20th century. Each museum was designed so as to establish an organic connection with the art it houses. The importance of the museum's collections – which trace the development of civilizations throughout the ages – is enhanced by the urban and architectural quality of the buildings.
Berlin's world-famous Museum Island lies between the River Spree and Kupfergraben. The buildings on the island accommodate the archaeological collections and art of the 19th century. Development of the building complex began with the Altes Museum which was designed by Schinkel. It was in this building that King Frederick William III made art treasures accessible to the public for the first time in 1830.
When the Pergamon Museum opened in 1930, it marked the completion of the Museum Island complex. During the Second World War up to seventy per cent of the buildings were destroyed. A huge reconstruction and modernization programme is currently under way to overcome the results of the war and division. The original collections which were divided between east and west after the war are now being reorganized and, in the majority of cases, reunited. The museums located in the complex are:
- Collection of Classical Antiquities - Antikensammlung
- Alte Nationalgalerie: Kunst des 19. Jahrhunderts
Bode Museum (closed for moderization)
- Collection of Sculptures and Museum of Late Antique and Byzantine Art (closed at present)
- Numismatic Collection (closed at present. Part of the collection is on show in the Collection of Classical
Antiquities at the Pergamon Museum, and at the Museum of Pre- and Early History)
Children's Gallery (closed at present)
Neues Museum (is currently being restored to accommodate the
- Egyptian Museum and the
- Museum of Pre- and Early History)
- Collection of Classical Antiquities
- Museum of Islamic Art
- Museum of Ancient Near Eastern Art
Sources and links:
Other World Heritage Sites in Germany (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Germany for further information about such sites.
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Revised 03 aug 2006