Europe’s hippest capital boasts non-stop nightlife, cutting-edge fashion, cosmopolitan eats and museum treasures galore. At the centre of the World and Cold Wars, it also oozes history, much of it sobering.
Berlin’s most popular museum is a tour de force of treasures amassed by German archaeologists during their plunderings of the ancient world. The superb site pulls together three previous museums covering Islamic art, classical antiquities and the ancient Near East.
The antiquities collection at the Pergamon includes a wealth of finds from famous archaeological sites such as Priene, Olympia, Miletus, Cyprus and Didyma, in what’s now Greece and Turkey.
The Ishtar Gate was one of the eight gates of the inner city of Babylon, built circa 575BC by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II and dedicated to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. This 14m-high blue-tiled stunner is a reconstruction by the Pergamon using original materials.
Built in the early 2nd century BC, the impressive 113m-high Pergamon Altar was found in the ruins of the acropolis of ancient Pergamon in Turkey. The base is decorated with a frieze showing the battle between the Giants and the Olympian gods known as the Gigantomachy.
The two-storey, 16m-high Roman Market Gate of Miletus, dating from the 2nd century AD, served as the northern entrance to the market town of Agora in Miletus, Turkey.
Getting there & doing it
Take the S-Bahn S1, S2, or S25 to Friedrichstrasse, or S5, S7, S75, or S9 to Hackescher Markt. Or take the U-Bahn line U6 to Friedrichstrasse.
The Berlin Museum Pass permits entry to all the major Berlin museums for three days, for about EUR25. It comes with a guide containing helpful information and listings of participating museums.
The more comprehensive Berlin Welcome Card gives you up to 50% off entrance to most of the city’s top attractions, including its art galleries and museums, and includes free public transport and a free handy guide book. The price varies depending on the number of days you want – from 48 hours to 6 days.
When to do it
The museum is open all year round, seven days a week.
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