Neues Museum: heavily hit by bombs
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. On the contrary. The walls of Neues Museum were full of bullet holes. And those were the walls that were still standing strong. Most of Neues Museum was so badly damaged it could no longer be used as a museum. Neues Museum had to be renovated thoroughly. But it wasn’t till 1989 that the GDR government started the renovation of the archeology museum that only owed it’s name New Museum (Neues Museum) in 1855.
Renovation of Neues Museum
After the Berlin Wall fell the British architect David Chipperfield continued with the renovation of Neues Museum. It was not an easy job. The Neues Museum was still practically a ruin. The facade of Neues Museum was full of bullet holes. The battered building stood in the centre of Berlin where the fights between the Nazi’s and allied forces took place. The walls full of colorful Egyptian paintings had started crumbling down. Most architects would decide to do a full renovation when they see something like that. They would rebuild Neues Museum and start plastering those crumbling walls to make the bullet holes disappear.
But Chipperfield decided differently. He didn’t plaster the crumbling walls or tore them down. The bullet holes and crumbling walls are still visible at Neues Museum. But they are encapsulated in modern technology. You can almost say the modern architecture hugs the old style at Neues Museum.
The crumbling, colorful walls are still the beating heart of Neues museum. But because of the tight steps, pillars, and concrete walls he added it doesn’t look fragile but strong and very interesting.
The impressive combination of old and new elements at Neues Museum make it truly fascinating and one of the most interesting pieces of architecture in Berlin. Even if you are not interested in ancient art, you should see the stunning architecture. Because it is so beautifully renovated.
Beautiful Kings and Queens at Neues Museum
But Neues Museum is not only the place to be in Berlin if you are interested in new and old architecture. The art in Neues Museum is really beautiful as well. The statues of the Egyptian heretic Akhenaten with his long face and his beautiful wife Nefertiti make it very worth visiting. Nefertiti has a special dome at Neues Museum, all by her self. A soft light caresses her delicate features. After seeing her in the Neues Museum you will know why man and women have talked about her great looks for so many centuries.
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 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. To make it even easier we hyperlinked words and subjects that are similar to make your visit to the Berlin Museums even more interesting.
Alte Nationalgalerei looks just like a Greek temple. But inside you will find romantic art and paintings by German and French masters like Caspar David Friedrich and Monet. It makes it the ideal place to be if you want to take your loved one on a romantic date, with painted flowers instead of the real deal.
When you stand in front of the Altes Museum on Museumsinsel you will feel like you are in Rome or Greece. The huge iconic columns look just like an impressive Greek temple. Although the Greeks didn’t build this temple, Altes Museum lets you discover the artifacts created in the burning sun of Greece, Rome and Egypt, centuries ago.
The Bode Museum is one of the architectural landmarks of Museumsinsel. If you cross the river Spree you will see the round walls of the Bode Museum instantly. It is a true eyecatcher. The collection of the Bode Museum is not so well known as the other museums on Museumsinsel. But the West Roman and Byzantium statues and great architecture make this a place to be.
Deutsches Historisches Museum is a great museum if you want to know about the history of Germany. It tells you how Germany came into existence, the religious fights between the catholics and reformers, World War One and Two and the Cold War. And it is situated at the former Berlin armory.
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.