Ancient History at The Pergamon Museum

“The more you know about your past,

the better prepared you are for the future.”

 – Theodore Roosevelt

It’s Sunday morning and we make sure we’re up early so we can go to Museum Island where the Pergamon Museum is located. It houses one of the largest collections of archaeology in the world. Odd is certain that we need to go today because the museum that took 20 years to build from 1910 – 1930 is closing for reconstruction at the end of September for five years.

Karina and I are dragging and we’re not in the best of moods. There is a long line up already. I listen to the tourists in front as they talk about their family and friends back home. I would guess they are retired Canadians. I don’t want to listen but the crowd is getting thicker and the wait is getting longer. We are thirsty, cranky and debate if we should leave but we stay because we know this is important to Odd. He loves history. And this is ancient history.

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As we wait in line, Odd points out the bullet holes on the concrete columns from WW ll, most likely.

It’s about 2 hours later by the time we get in. Karina has made up her mind. She thinks she will not enjoy the exhibit so she refuses the audio tour – which is free with admission, by the way. We go up the stairs and are greeted by this beautiful archway with glazed bricks in blue. It’s a lot to take in at once but all the tourists, including myself, are amazed at the size and care put into its reconstruction. Karina realizes the audio tour is necessary and heads back down to get a headset.

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The Ishtar Gate of Babylon, the ceremonial gate from 6th century BC.

DSC07191 - Version 2Lions line the walls along the Processional Way during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar ll.

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This room is custom-built for the Market Gate of Miletus from 120 AD, depicting Roman architecture. It’s hard to photograph its enormous size but I try. This marble monument was destroyed in an earthquake about 10th century, rebuilt here in its original size and restored again in the 1950’s.

DSC07202 - Version 2I stop and gaze at the stunning detail.

DSC07208 - Version 2Replica of the Pergamon Alter from 180 – 165 BC.

DSC07209 - Version 2Reconstruction has begun on the life size marble shrine from the Greek Metropolis of Pergamon.

DSC07206 - Version 2The walls of the room are lined with frieze to show Gods and Giants in battle.

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I climb up to the top of the stairs and admire the vivid frieze from a different angle.

The last exhibit on the top floor shows the Middle East from the 8th century. There are 14 rooms that showcase Islamic Art but I am hungry and tired now. So we appreciate the collection and find our way out. By the time we sit and have lunch at Hackescher Markt, Karina and I admit The Pergamon was definitely worth seeing. The patience put into preserving ancient history is incredible. Not to be missed if you’re in this area in about…oh say, five years or so.

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