Deutsches Historisches Museum
The Deutsches Historisches Museum at Unter den Linden, near Museumsinsel, used to be everything except a peaceful and interesting museum. Rifles, guns and cannons were ready to fire. The old weapon arsenal of Berlin used to be housed at the Deutsches Historisches Museum. Heroes and dying soldiers can still be seen at the facade of the museum. But today there is no more gun smoke at this oldest building of Unter den Linden. Now it shows the history of Germany.
History of Germany in Deutsches Historisches Museum
In Deutsches Historisches Museum you will learn everything about the difficult history of Germany. It clearly explains how Germany was divided in a lot of different, small states that didn’t have much in common. But also how the reformation worked, how the German emperors came into power and how Germany was effected by the First World War.
Nazi artifacts at Deutsches Historisches Museum
The Second World War is also an important topic in the museum. The Deutsches Historisches Museum has many Nazi artifacts and pamphlets that make clear how the Nazis and communists hated each other. But you will also learn a lot about the more recent history of the Berlin Wall and the communist period. They kept the banners that were used at peace demonstrations just before the Wende and the fall of the Berlin Wall At I.M. Pei, a new building linked to the Deutsches Historisches Museum you can find interesting temporary exhibitions. For example the much talked about Hitler und den Deutschen (Hitler and the Germans) and Unter Baumen. If you even know how to make an exhibition about a boring subject like trees interesting, you know the Deutsches Historisches Museum is good and different.
If you want to know more about the history of Berlin, check out Markisches Museum. This museum tells you everything about Berlin. Like how the Berliner Dom used to be and what Berlin used to look like centuries ago and at the beginning of the last century, before the bombs of World War two turned the city of Berlin into rubble.
You love art and history and are in Berlin right now. Or you are planning a visit to Berlin soon. But you have no idea where you can find all those interesting Berlin museums. We don’t blame you. If you only go to Museumsinsel it will take a whole day to see all the art inside. And Museumsinsel is not the only place in Berlin to be to find art and interesting history.
We will help you out with a short summary of all the museums we write about. Or just click on the photos of all the different museums and find all the info there on what museum you can find where and how, and what is inside.
When you stand in front of the Altes Museum on Museumsinsel you will feel like you are in Rome. The huge iconic columns look just like an impressive Roman temple. The Romans didn’t build Altes Museum, but inside you will discover the ancient world and artifacts created in the burning sun of Greece, Rome and Egypt.
The Alte Nationalgalerie at the Museumsinsel looks a lot like a Greek temple. You would not be surprised if a Greek beauty or even the uppergod Zeus would wander the premises of Alte Nationalgalerie. The gallery has prominent pillars and Greek statues surrounding the building. Inside there is no Greek art though, but romantic paintings and sculptures.
What should you do with a museum that is heavily hit by bombs? The people of Berlin had no idea for a very long time. During World War two Neues Museum didn’t look so new anymore. The walls were full of bullet holes. But now Neues Museum is renovated beautifully and inside you will see great ancient art like Egyptian beauty queen Nefertiti and heretic husband Akhenaten.
The scars of both World War Two and the Cold War are visible at Gropius Bau. This art museum still has bullet holes in the facade from World War Two. The Berlin Wall is very close too, leaving Gropius Bau in noman’s land for decades. But art revenged itself. Inside you will find work by international artists and exhibitions that have traveled the world.
You don’t have to use your imagination a lot to hear the trains hissing at former train station Hamburger Bahnhof. But the days of passengers running for their train are over. Inside you will find great art. Hamburger Bahnhof has great international artists like Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol, but they let the young artists shine as well.
The Jewish Museum is dedicated to the history of the German Jews. Inside you will find old artifacts, religious items, tragic letters from World War Two, family photo albums, jeans made by Levi Strauss, sad exhibitions on how the Jewish community suffered during the war. But also exhibitions on how creative the community and individuals were.
KW Institute for Contemporary Art can be found in gallery heaven Scheunenviertel in an unusual building. KW Institure for Contemporary Art is in a former butter factory, filled to the brim with modern art. The exhibitions are very interesting and they have a keen eye for controversial art.
The Neue Nationalgalerie is the place to be if you love modern art. This stunning museum looks like a very modern bunker but instead of concrete to fill this artbox, architect Mies van der Rohe used a lot of glass. On the first floor and in the cellars you can find the frivolous colors of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, the kidlike art by Pablo Picasso, and the sad but colorful clowns of Max Beckman.
Pergamon Museum is dedicated to the excavation in Pergamon, modern day Turkey. They have large friezes depicting the divine fight between the Giants with snake legs and the impressive Greek gods. They also have a great Islamic art section. We especially like the blue tilled walls of ancient Babylon with ferocious looking lions.
We always walked by this old World War Two bunker without knowing what was happening inside. It looks hardly inhabited from the outside, but inside this old war bunker you will see it is filled to the brim with art by the Boros family. Hence the name: Sammlung Boros. It is not a normal museum, make an appointment to get in.
Always wondered where and how the first Berliners lived in the stone age, the middle ages and where the Berliners danced in the Wild twenties? At Markisches Museum they will tell you all about the history of Berlin. Expect interesting stories, great pictures of wildly dancing ladies and some large slabs of the Berlin Wall.
If you are born in Western Europe, America or another spot in the world, far from East Germany and want to know what life in the GDR was like, you should check out the DDR Museum. They will tell you everything about the history and everyday life in the GDR, or like East Germans call it: DDR.
Gedenkstatte Hohenschonhause is now a memorial, in the Cold War you definitely didn’t want to be stuck here. Gedenkstatte Hohenschonhause was a Stasi prison. During a tour the former prisoners will tell you all about the grim reality they faced when they were held prison in this cold and lonesome place during the Cold War.
The Stasi Museum is a weird place to be. Especially when you realize the museum used to be the offices where the Stasi used to spy on it’s own people. You can visit the offices of Stasi leader Mielke as well and hear him say he spied on people because he loved them and his country so much.