The Pergamon Museum is located on Museum Island and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city of Berlin. The museum itself is better described as three museums each with a quite distinctive theme, each with its own unique collection of antiquities.
The museum first opened in 1930 after taking 20 years to complete, only to see it mostly destroyed during the bombing of Berlin in World War II. Fortunately by then most of the exhibits had been moved to a safer place or in the case of the larger pieces, protected by encasing in protective walls. After the war, many items were removed and shipped to Russia, most of these items have since been returned but a number still remain with the Hermitage and Pushkin museums.
The old building has been mostly restored and modern structures added to house the sometimes massive artefacts. There is still much work to do to preserve and restore some of these major exhibits so access may be limited or not permitted to individual exhibits during periods of restoration.
The Department of Greek and roman Antiquities forms the main part of the museum with a number of large scale exhibits. The main attraction is the Pergamon Alter which dates from 180-
The Near East Museum is home to one of the largest collections of antiquities covering over 6000 years of history from Babylonia, Persia, and Assyria. The main attractions here is the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and the facade from the throne hall of king Nebuchadnezzar.
The Museum of Islamic Art originates from 1904 when Wilhelm von Bode donated a fine collection of carpets, and it is these textiles that still make up the bulk of the collection. Highlights on display include the Aleppo Zimmer, a 17th century panelled room that came from a merchants house in the city of Aleppo in Syria.