About the Island with the Important German MuseumThe Museum Island (Museumsinsel) is Berlin's cultural center. A number of important art and science museums are located on this natural island, located on the Schaffere River from 1830, and is considered a source of pride for Berliners.
Among the museums is the famous museum for antiquities, the Pergamon Museum, which houses one of the most important collections of antiquities in the world.
Also on the island are several other museums:
The Old National Gallery - featuring 19th-century German art.
The Neues Museum - which displays ancient Egyptian art, an ancient papyrus collection, prehistoric exhibits and antiques from the classical period. The most famous item in the museum is the statue of Nefertiti, Queen of Egypt.
The Bode Museum - a museum dedicated to the art of Byzantium, medieval art and early modern art.
Due to the architectural importance of the museum buildings themselves, the whole island was declared a World Heritage Site. In the large, pleasant park next to the large museum plaza, the Lustgarten Park, one can relax a little while strolling between the museums.
The History of Museum IslandThe foundation for the island were put up by King Frederick Wilhelm IV in the first half of the 19th century. He decided to establish a museum complex, to which he would transfer the royal family’s collections, a generous decision that allowed the German public to enjoy the kingdom’s treasures that had been compiled by kings for generations.
For this purpose the king chose the northern side of the island inside Berlin, which was formed between the arms of the Spree River, which passes through the city. He ordered the architect Schinkel, whose work he admired and loved, to set up the first Museum on the Museum Island.
Before the bombing of World War II, the authorities moved most of the contents from the museums outside the Berlin city area. This was done to protect the items from destruction. Things that could not be removed from Berlin were covered with sandbags. During the last bombardment over Berlin in the war, the Americans completely destroyed the island. The fact that most of the items were taken out of it before the bombings kept them from being completely destroyed.