The Altes Museum | Attraction Guides | History Hit

The Altes Museum

Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020

About The Altes Museum

The Altes Museum is part of Germany’s National Museum and is located in Berlin. Displaying part of the National Museum’s collection of classical antiquities, even the building of the Altes Museum has been built in a style inspired by Ancient Greece.

One of the main collections at the Altes Museum is its Etruscan Art. It also exhibits a series of Roman portraits including those modelled on of the sarcophagi of Caesar and Cleopatra.

It is worth noting that the National Museum has made several changes to the arrangement of its classical antiquities collection and many pieces have moved to the Neues Museum.

The Altes Museum history

Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Altes Museum, completed in 1830, is one of the most important buildings of the Neoclassical era.

The museum was initially commissioned to house the Prussian royal family’s art collection as part of a forward-thinking notion to display art in the public sphere and encourage a cultural education for all citizens. On seeing the magnificence of the museum upon completion, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV designated the northern part of Spree Island, now known as Museum Island, a sanctuary for art and science.

The building has had several renovations since its creation, most notably after a truck exploded outside the museum during World War Two. In 2011 the museum underwent an extensive renovation following designs by Hilmer Sattler architects.

The permanent collection of the Altes Museum, known as Antikensammlung, encompasses Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, including sculptures, mosaics, sarcophagi, vases, and jewels.

Artefacts in the permanent exhibition are arranged chronologically and include world-famous items such as the classical Greek sculptures of the Berlin Goddess (580-560 B.C.), the Praying boy (ca. 300 B.C.), the Portrait of Pericles (ca. 430 B.C.), the Medea Roman marble sarcophagus (140 B.C.) and the Centaurs floor mosaic from Emperor Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli, near Rome (120-130 A.D.).

The museum also holds a 500,000-piece collection of coins and medals, dating from the 7th century B.C. to the present, a selection of which is on view in the Münzkabinett gallery.

The Altes Museum also organises temporary exhibitions, guided tours, workshops and educational programs for adults and children.

The Altes Museum today

The museum’s building includes a cafe and a shop. The Altes Museum building is a UNESCO world heritage site as part of Museum Island.

Getting to the Altes Museum

The Altes Museum can be reached by public transport by train, subway, S-Bahn, Light Rail and Bus. The nearest station is Am Kupfergraben.

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