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Museum Island in the heart of Berlin is a complex of five museums built on an island in the River Spree over the course of 130 years. Since 1999, the architectural ensemble has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Pergamon Museum, which opened in 1930, is the newest, and its monumental reconstructions of the Pergamon Altar and Ishtar Gate attract large numbers of visitors. Last year the total was 1.3 million.
Closed for 70 years, the Neues Museum, which reopened in 2009, is fascinating not only because of the collections it houses but also because it displays the architectural history of the museum itself, from its construction in the nineteenth century, to its near destruction in World War II, to its contemporary reconstruction by architect David Chipperfield. The Egyptian collection with the bust of Nefertiti is one of the museum's major attractions.
The colonnaded courtyard of the Old National Gallery is evidence that Museum Island is also a delightful place for a stroll. It's a peaceful arcadia with a view across the Spree to the city. Traditional guided tours are available on Museum Island, but there are also other exciting ways to enjoy the museums - at unusual performances in the Bode-Museum, for instance, such as a production of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" on a catwalk.
From Visit Germany
Editor: Sue Cox