Situated between the River Spree and the Kupfergraben, Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s packed with many of Berlin’s most important cultural institutions. It’s here that the historic Altes Museum is found, having been built in 1830 to house the Crown Jewels, as well as the Neues Museum that was established in 1855 and rebuilt following World War II. It was designed to house collections that could not fit in the Altes Museum, including ancient Egyptian artifacts and the ethnographic collection, and stands as an important monument to the innovations that were taking place in building construction during the mid-19th century.
Museum Island is also home to the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) that was opened in 1876 to house a collection of 19th-century art gifted by wealthy banker Joachim H. W. Wagener. Today this late-Classical/early Neo-Renaissance building boasts Neoclassical, Romantic and Biedermeier works, together with Impressionist and Modernist art.
The Bode Museum is situated at the northern tip of Museum Island and first opened in 1904, with an impressive collection of sculptures dating to the late Antique and Byzantine periods. It includes Christian Orient artworks and Italian Gothic pieces, as well as Prussian Baroque art up to the 18th century.
Nearby is the Pergamon Museum, which houses monumental buildings of historical significance, including the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. It features an impressive collection of Islamic artwork from the 8th to 19th centuries, with a highlight being the Mshatta facade from present-day Jordan.