In the heart of the vibrant central Mitte district of Berlin sits one of the cultural jewels of this beautiful city: Museum Island, a unique complex of 5 museums along the Spree River. Museum Island is the only architectural and cultural ensemble on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and it’s a must-see for lovers of art, architecture and history alike.
The 5 museums, erected from 1824 to 1930, form an artistic masterpiece in and of themselves; their designers wanted them to represent and enhance the very art they house. For example, the neoclassical Altes Museum (Old Museum), the oldest museum of the 5, features 18 fluted columns and a Pantheon-inspired rotunda, which pay homage to the Greek and Roman artefacts the building displays inside.
The other 4 museums making up the ensemble include the Neues Museum (New Museum), home to the exquisite 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti; the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery); the Bode-Museum on the island’s tip; and the Pergamon, the final museum erected on the site (in 1930). Together, they form a magnificent collective of world art and cultural artefacts that span from the Stone Age to the 19th century.
Once you’ve had your fill of artworks and artefacts (or if you have only a short time in Berlin), it’s worth enjoying a leisurely stroll around the island to revel in its uniqueness. If you get a sunny and warm day, you can’t beat sprawling on the lush green grass of the island’s Lustgarten park. Laze the day away with the unforgettable backdrop of the gorgeous Berlin Cathedral. Museum Island is a 10-minute walk from Alexanderplatz U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations.