Visit Some World Famous Treasures at Berlin's Museum Island
I ended the day with a visit to Museum Island. This unique island on the Spree River is home to five of Berlin’s major museums: the Bode Museum, Pergamonmuseum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Neues Museum and Altes Museum. Several of the buildings, now under reconstruction, were destroyed in World War II during which time museum artifacts were stolen by Allied troops and have not yet been returned.
For 12 Euros I bought an island pass for all the museums and started my visit at the Pergamonmuseum. World famous for its impressive reconstructions of ancient architectural ensembles the museum is divided into three different sections: Classical Antiquities, Ancient Near East and Islamic Art. Walking through their huge displays such as the Pergamon Alter of 170 BC, the Ishtar Gate of Babylon dating back to 6th century BC and the 120 AD Market Gate of Miletus gave me the sense of traveling back in time
Next I visited the Egyptian Gallery of the Altes museum which is home to the famous bust of Nefertiti. One of the most copied works of ancient Egyptian art, the bust was found in the workshop belonging to the ancient Egyptian sculptor Thutmose. Nefertiti was the Great Royal Wife of Egyptian Pharoah Akhenaten and is thought to be the stepmother of King Tut. She is the second most famous Egyptian Queen in the Western culture, next to Cleopatra, and is often referred to as the most beautiful woman in the world.
Upon examining the bust I would have to agree, she was a very exquisite woman. There were lots of people staring at the bust and taking pictures (the museums all allowed photography without a flash).
As I walked back to my hotel, I contemplated the coolness of what I just stumbled upon. I have read countless books on ancient Egypt and was well aware of who Nefertiti was but I had no idea where her famous bust was located.
I had just assumed it was somewhere in Egypt. I love traveling without an itinerary because I never know what
amazing people, places and things I might come across. Everyday is a new adventure. Of course this type of travel has a downside as well. I don’t tend to research an area before I visit and at times I have missed important sites. For instance, when I was in London, I wished I would have visited the British Museum where the Rosetta Stone is kept, but I had no idea it was there until I was back in Canada.
Where I Stayed...
ET Berlin Potsdamer Platz
Anhalter Street 6
10963 Berlin, Germany
Single €48-€55 Euros (2008 prices)
Comfortable rooms with T-Mobile wireless internet and breakfast optional. Within walking distance of Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburger Gate and the Reichstag.