Mshatta in focus. The Jordanian desert palace in historical photographs

from: 03.10.2014 to: 15.03.2015

The richly decorated façade of the early Islamic desert palace of Mshatta was presented as a gift from the Ottoman sultan to the German emperor in 1903, when it was trasported from the Jordanian desert to Berlin, where it now forms the centrepiece of the Museum für Islamische Kunst's collection, on show in the Pergamonmuseum. Its accession history began with a series of photographs of the façade which circulated among European archaeologists and art historians around the turn of the century and eventually also landed in the hands of Kaiser Wilhelm II. 

Photographs would also later play a pivotal role in the archaeological and museological study of Mshatta. Photographic records were made at several key moments in its recent history: before and during the facade's dismantling, after the structure was hit by a bomb in World War II, and during its subsequent restoration in the 1950s. Photographic documentation also formed the basis for recurring debates surrounding the facade's reconstruction and museum display.

The Mshatta Facade is about to be transported once again, as the Pergamonmuseum prepares for extensive renovation, and the Museum of Islamic Art now presents selected highlights from the remarkable photographic biography of this unique monument.

Visitor entrance

Bodestraße 1-3
10178 Berlin

Changed Visitor Entrance 07.01.2013[PDF

Please note: For technical reasons, the lift in the Pergamonmuseum is currently out of use. Wheelchair access in the museum is limited! We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.


U-Bahn U6 (Friedrichstraße)
S-Bahn S1, S2, S25 (Friedrichstraße); S5, S7, S75 (Hackescher Markt)
Tram M1, 12 (Am Kupfergraben); M4, M5, M6 (Hackescher Markt)
Bus TXL (Staatsoper); 100, 200 (Lustgarten); 147 (Friedrichstraße)<p><strong>Low-carbon public transport connections</strong><br /><a href="" target="_blank">Local traffic</a><br /><a href="" target="_blank">Long distance</a></p>

Sun 10:00 - 18:00
Mon 10:00 - 18:00
Tue 10:00 - 18:00
Wed 10:00 - 18:00
Thu 10:00 - 20:00
Fri 10:00 - 20:00
Sat 10:00 - 20:00

Opening times on public holidays Plan your visit
Extended opening hours for the Pergamonmuseum: open until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, from 5 up to 27 September.

During the current stage of renovations, the hall containing the Pergamon Altar will close on 29 September 2014 and is due to remain closed to the public until 2020. The last chance to view the Pergamon Altar before the room closure is Sunday 28 September 2014.

The north wing and the gallery of Hellenistic art are also affected by the closure. The South Wing of the Pergamonmuseum, featuring the Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way from Babylon, and the Museum of Islamic Art, remains unaffected and will be open to the public during this time.

Please note that due to construction and the high volume of visitors, longer waiting times may be experienced.

Last admission and ticket sales 30 minutes before closing time.


admission ticket
Buy ticket

area ticket
Buy ticket

Annual membership Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
from just 25,- EUR
Annual Tickets

Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 266424242 (Mon - Fri 9 am - 4 pm)
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 266422290