Museumsinsel is the name of the northern half of the Spreeinsel, an island in the Spree river, between the River Spree and the Kupfergraben canal. (The southern half of the island is called Fischerinsel/Fishers’ Island.)
博物館島上有5座博物館，分别是：老博物館(Altes Museum)、新博物館(Neues Museum)、老國家藝術畫廊(Alte Nationalgalerie)、博德博物館(Bode-Museum)和佩加蒙博物館(Pergamonmuseum)，它們共同組成了一組聞名世界的建築羣。在這裡，珍藏着人類歷史長河六千年留存下來的瑰寶—從兩河流域、埃及、希臘、羅馬、拜占庭、伊斯蘭世界、中世紀一直走到19世紀；這些博物館如同一部時空機器，帶領参觀者經歷一璀璨的文化歷史之旅。
History of Museum Island The ornate and enticing group of museums started with King Friedrich Wilhelm III who commissioned the construction of the Royal Museum – now the Altes Museum – in 1830. Technically, however, the idea for the island wasn’t devised until around 1841, when Friedrich August Stüler proposed the idea to create a cultural center on the island, which was lauded by all. In 1859, the Neues Museum was complete. The year 1876 saw the completion of the Alte Nationalgalerie. The Kaiser-Friedrich Museum (today the Bode-Museum) was added in 1904 and the final museum, the Pergamonmuseum, was completed in 1930.
The equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm IV in front of the Alte Nationalgalerie by Alexander Calandrelli serves as a reminder that the king’s decision in 1841 to establish a “sanctuary for art and sciences” laid the ground for Museum Island as we know it today.
Sadly, nearly 70% of the buildings were destroyed during World War II and, after the war; the collections were split up between East and West Berlin. Finally, at the end of the 20th century a reconstruction and re-modernization program was started, designed to restore all five museums. (http://www.smb.museum/smb/home/index.php)
老博物館Altes Museum—Architecture as the Embodiment of Educational Ideals The oldest museum building in Berlin, it was here where Frederick William III first made the Antikensammlung, the Prussian Royal family’s collection of antiques, available to the public.
The museum’s four wings and the 87-metre long front decorated with 18 Ionic columns (the other three remaining facades are of brick and stone banding) overlooking the Lustgarten (Pleasure Garden) make the building a prime example of neo-classical architecture in Berlin.
Construction The building uses the Greek Stoa in Athens as a model, built by architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel between 1823 and 1830. (Tthe Altes Museum was the first in the city, fashioned in the Greek style.) Also, the museum was raised in order to protect the artwork from inevitable inundation as Museum Island, on which the Altes Museum was the first museum to stand, was known for flooding.
The entire length of attic facing the Lustgarten carries the inscription: “FRIDERICUS GUILELMUS III STUDIO ANTIQUITATIS OMNIGENIAE ET ARTIUM LIBERALIUM MUSEUM CONSTITUIT MDCCCXXVIII" (“Friedrich Wilhelm III dedicated this museum to the study of all antiquity and liberal arts in 1828″).
Reconstruction & Collections After the war, the Altes Museum was the first of the group museums on Museum Island to be renovated (1958) and it reopened in 1966. Today, it houses the Collection of Classical Antiquities and the Numismatic Collection.
Allegretto Café is located on the ground floor of Neues Museum.
新博物館Neues Museum—Triumph of Historicism Ten years after the Altes Museum had opened, the collections had grown to such an extent that consideration had to be given to the construction of new buildings. In 1841 king Frederick William IV of Prussia ordered the construction of a new museum on the island in the River Spree near the Prussian palace.
Constructed between 1841 and 1859 and designed by Friedrich August Stüler (Schinkel’s student), a monumental neo-classical building, which was erected behind the Royal Museum, now known as the Altes Museum.
The layout of the Neues Museum is comparable with that of the Altes Museum, but the rotunda of the latter is replaced by the monumental main staircase. Unlike the Altes Museum, to which it was originally linked by a passageway, it is a relatively plain structure, more in the style of the Schinkel School. However, the richly decorated interior contrasts with the plain exterior.
Reconstruction In 1997 British architect David Chipperfield was appointed to plan the reconstruction of the Neues Museum. Works started in 2003 and 70 years after it closed in 1939, the Neues Museum finally reopened on October 16, 2009. In the restoration work the facades and interior spaces were carefully preserved, with respect paid to the visible traces of the past on the structure itself.
The Collections Neues Museum houses the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, Museum of Prehistory and Early History, and the Collection of Classical Antiquities.
The museum’s star attraction is the bust of limestone and plaster Queen Nefertiti which was discovered in 1912 and dates back to about 1340 B.C.
Heinrich Schliemann’s collection of Trojan Antiquities
p.s. James Simon Gallery— the New Entrance Building Designed by architect David Chipperfield, the gallery is named after the Henri James Simon (1851–1932) who brought worldwide fame to the Berlin State Museums with his lavish donations. (http://www.museumsinsel-berlin.de/home/)
After the David Chipperfield’s master plan finish, the the James Simon Gallery will be the sixth museum on the Musemsinsel provides amenities for visitors including an auditorium, media centre, bookstore, shops, café, restaurants and temporary exhibition rooms.
老國家藝術畫廊Alte Nationalgalerie—German Art or Art as Such Like a raised Roman temple, this tall building stands in the middle of a grassed peristyle courtyard that extends northwards from the Neues Museum.
The Alte Nationalgalerie has been restored to its original appearance, including the characteristic pink-and-orange glow of the sandstone. The most striking feature of the main facades is the monumental staircase topped by the equestrian statue of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. Rising up above it is the temple façade with its eight ornate Corinthian columns which contrast sharply with the austere Ionic order used in the Altes Museum. The Alte Nationalgalerie was the first state building in Berlin to be completely faced with sandstones since the Brandenburg Gate, completed in 1791, the intention being to demonstrate the empire’s new wealth.
Building the Gallery The Nationalgalerie was founded in 1861, after the donations of 262 paintings by banker Johann Heinrich Wagener. The collection was first housed in the buildings of the Akademie der Künste. The current building, shaped like a Roman temple with an appended apse was planned by Friedrich August Stüler in 1865, following a sketch by King Frederick William IV of Prussia, and its construction between 1869 and 1876 was overseen by Johann Heinrich Strack. The building was officially inaugurated in 1876.
Reconstruction The building was heavily damaged in World War II air raids. It was partly reopened in 1949, but reconstruction continued until 1969. Between 1998 and 2001, the museum was renovated thoroughly by Stuttgart architects HG Merz. Some extra halls were added on the uppermost floor and now contain the Romantic works.
The Collections Alte Nationalgalerie is most well-known for its fine collection of 19th century paintings. It’s also home to the world’s largest collection of works by the city’s native son, Adolph von Menzel (1815-1905). The museum also owns an impressive collection of 19th century sculpture.
佩加蒙博物館Pergamonmuseum—The German National Museum No building on Museum Island is more monumental than the Pergamonmuseum. Designed by Alfred Messel and completed by Ludwig Hoffmann from 1910 to 1930. It is the youngest of the five exhibition houses on Museum Island.
Museum Entrance (later)—http://www.museumsinsel-berlin.de/home/
The Building—新古典主義風格的建築 The three-winged Pergamonmuseum rises directly from the Spree River, like the Bode-Museum, with which it is harmonized in scale and proportions. The centre block and the side wings are windowless, given structure by flat giant pilasters and steep pediments.
History of the Museum The Pergamonmuseum was built to complement the nearby Kaiser-Wilhelm Museum (now the Bode-Museum), which had grown too small to house the artifacts garnered from German excavations throughout the world.
The Collections The Pergamon Museum is divided into three distinct sections: Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities), Vorderasitisches Museum (Museum of the Ancient Near East) and Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum of Islamic Art).
Pergamon Altar (reconstruction), 180-160 B.C.
The Pergamon Altar is a monumental construction built during the reign of King Eumenes II in the first half of the 2nd century BC on one of the terraces of the acropolis of the ancient city of Pergamon in Asia Minor. The structure is 35.64 meters wide and 33.4 meters deep; the front stairway alone is almost 20 meters wide. The base is decorated with a frieze in high relief showing the battle between the Giants and the Olympian gods known as the Gigantomachy.
There is a second, smaller and less well-preserved high relief frieze on the inner court walls which surround the actual fire altar on the upper level of the structure at the top of the stairs. In a set of consecutive scenes, it depicts events from the life of Telephus, legendary founder of the city of Pergamon and son of the hero Heracles and Auge, one of Tegean king Aleus’s daughters.
p.s. 1878年，德國工程師卡爾Carl Humann (January 4, 1839-April 12, 1896)開始在佩加蒙衛城正式發掘，一直持續到1886年，使衛城的一些古建築物重見天日。在與土耳其政府的談判中，同意將當時發現的所有碎片成為柏林博物館的財產。
Market Gate of Miletus
The Market Gate of Miletus was built in Miletus (an ancient city in what is now Turkey) in the 2nd century AD, most likely during the reign of Emperor Hadrian about 120 to 130 AD. It destroyed in an earthquake in the 10th or 11th century. In the early 1900s, it was excavated, rebuilt, and placed on display in the museum. (Only 60% of the gate consists of original fragments, while the remainder is made up of marble, concrete, brick and plaster.) The gate was damaged in World War II and underwent restoration in the 1950s (under the supervision of archaeologist H. H. Völker). Further restoration work took place in the first decade of the 21st century. The gate is a large marble monument, about 30 meters wide, 16 meters tall, and 5 meters deep. The two-story structure has three doorways and a number of projections and niches. At roof level and in between the floors are ornate friezes with bull and flower reliefs. The structure’s protruding pediments are supported by Corinthian and composite columns.
p.s. German archaeologist Theodor Wiegand (October 30, 1864 – December 19, 1936) conducted a series of excavations in Miletus from 1899 through 1911. In 1903, the Market Gate of Miletus was excavated and from 1907 to 1908, fragments of the gate were transported to Berlin. Wiegand wrote in his diaries that he gave a presentation using models to Kaiser Wilhelm II, who was so impressed that he ordered the gate’s reconstruction at full scale “like a theater backdrop" in the Pergamonmuseum.
Ishtar Gate with the Processional Way from Babylon
The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. It was constructed in about 575 B.C. by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II on the north side of the city. A reconstrucyion of the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way was built at the Pergamonmuseum out of material excavated by Robert Koldewey (10 September 1855–4 February 1925) and finished in the 1930s. It includes the inscription plaque. It stands 14 meters high and 30 meters wide. The excavation ran from 1902 to 1914, and, during that time, 45 feet of the foundation of the gate was uncovered. It was a double gate; the part that is shown in the Pergamonmuseum today is the smaller, frontal part. The larger, back part was considered too large to fit into the constraints of the structure of the museum; it is in storage.
Dedicated to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, the gate was constructed using glazed brick with alternating rows of bas-relief mushhushshu (dragons—symbol of the city god Marduk)) and aurochs (bulls—symbol of the weather god Adad).
Through the gate ran the Processional Way, which was lined with walls covered in lions on glazed bricks (about 120 of them).
p.s. Parts of the gate and lions from the Processional Way are in various other museums around the world. Only three museums acquired dragons, while lions went to several museums. The Istanbul Archaeology Museum has lions, dragons, and bulls. The Detroit Institute of Arts houses a dragon. The Röhsska Museum has one dragon and one lion; the Louvre, the State Museum of Egyptian Art in Munich, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Oriental Institute in Chicago, the Rhode Island School of Desigh Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Yale University Art Gallery, each have lions.
博德博物館Bode-Museum—The Power of Middle-Class Emancipation The museum was designed by architect Ernst von Ihne ( one of the few German architects capable of producing the spectacular, Paris-influenced, neo-Baroque style) and completed in 1904. Originally called the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum after Kaiser Friedrich III, the museum was renamed in honor of its first curator, Wilhelm von Bode, in 1956.
Bode-Museum’s construction began in 1897. It was erected on an almost triangular plot of land (at the northern end of the island), which was highly unsuitable for a museum that was to be built on classical symmetrical lines. Moreover, the site was bounded on two sides by the River Spree and Kupfergraben Canal and on the third by the suburban railway line.
Reconstruction Badly damaged in 1945, the Bode-Museum was repaired only gradually. It was restored and partially converted to plans by Viennese architect, Heinz Tesar, the work being completed in 2006.
The Collections The museum housed the sculpture collection, the Museum of Byzantine Art and the Numismatic Collections.
附記：柏林大教堂Berliner Dom In addition to the museums, the Berliner Dom is also located on the island next to the Lustgarten that formerly belonged to the Berliner Stadtschloss (Berlin City Palace). The Cathedral of Berlin is the largest Protestant church in city often referred to in print as the “Entryway to Museum Island”. (http://www.berlinerdom.de/)
The first church built near here in 1465 was the court chapel for the Hohenzollern family within the castle complex. Later the church of the Dominican Order (Schwarze Brüder), located at the south side of the castle, was used as the first cathedral. The first church at this site was a baroque cathedral by Johann Boumann, which was completed in 1747 and, in 1822, remodelled in the neoclassicist style by the Berlin architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
In 1894, on German Emperor Wilhelm II’s order, this domed building was demolished and replaced by the current cathedral (1905, baroque style with Italian Renaissance influences) designed by Julius Raschdorff. At 114 m long, 73 m wide and 116 m tall, it was much larger than any of the previous buildings and was considered a Protestant counterweight to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. During the World War II, the building was bombed by the Allies and severely damaged. A temporary roof was installed to protect what remained of the interior and in 1975 reconstruction started. The restoration of the interior was begun in 1984 and in 1993 the church reopened. During reconstruction, the original design was modified into a simpler, less tall form.
p.s. The Lustgarten is located in the Mitte Neighborhod of central Berlin at the entrance of Museum Island. Although quite small in size (just 2 hectares) the Lustgarten has a rich historical background and a still attractive appearance for the modern visitor.
The plot of land was used as vegetable garden (16th century), growing fruit and vegetables – including the potato for the first time – for the nearby Stadtschloss (City Palace). Inspired by the Dutch style in vogue at the time, Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm (1640 – 1688) had it transformed into a royal garden by landscape garden designers Michael Hanff and Johann Sigismund Elssholtz. In character with the more pragmatic than leisurely aspirations of Friedrich Wilhelm I (1713 -1740) the pleasure garden was reduced to a military parade square and it was only in 1790 that grass was planted here again. Finally in the architect Schinkel’s day, coinciding with the building of the first public museum – the Altes Museum in 1830, the area was once again designed (by Peter Joseph Lenné) to serve as a suitable accompaniment to the classical buildings, with formal paths dividing the park into six sectors.
After the collapse of the Weimar Republic in 1933, the Nazis paved down the area in 1934 in order to facilitate its use as a parade square. In 1945, the Lustgarten was a bomb-pitted wasteland. The German Democratic Republic left Hitler’s paving in place, but planted linden trees around the parade ground to reduce its militaristic appearance. The whole area was renamed Marx-Engels-Platz. It was not until after the reunification of Germany, in 1991, that a movement to turn the Lustgarten back into a park was begun. In 1997, the Berlin Senate commissioned the landscape architect Hans Loidl to redesign the area and construction work began at the beginning of 1998. The Lustgarten is now once again a park with fountains in the heart of a reunited Berlin.