Marking the 100th anniversary of excavations at the site, the Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum for Islamic Art) presents an exhibition on the legendary royal city of Samarra, which lay approx. 120 km north of Bagdad on the banks of the Tigris, and which served as the government capital of the powerful Abbasid Caliphate from 836 to 892. Samarra boasted one of most elaborate city plans in the world at the time. With its gigantic palaces, mosques, walled hunting parks, polo fields, and horse racing courses it stretched to an astonishing length of almost 50 km.
Prominent ruins were excavated from 1911 to 1913 by the German archaeologist and Orientalist, Ernst Herzfeld. It was the first scientific excavation expressly dedicated to uncovering a site dating from the Islamic period. Today's exhibition presents a large selection of the finds that made their way to the Berlin museums under the then prevailing antiquities law, by which the found objects were divided up, with half retained by the local country and half removed by the country responsible for financing and conducting the dig. Among the objects on display are wall paintings, stucco, and wood panelling, which once adorned the walls of palaces. Also on show are lusterware ceramics, Chinese porcelain, and cut glass: testaments of the city's innovative artisanship and far-reaching trade links. The exhibition is enriched by a selection of historical excavation photographs taken by Ernst Herzfeld. They amount to important documents of the ruins, but also depict the landscape and everyday life at the dig.
Address / Getting there
partially wheelchair accessible
Please note: Pergamonmuseum is exclusively entered through James-Simon-Galerie!
Site plan: Entrance to the Pergamonmuseum and Neues Museum (PDF)
All groups meet at the information desk at the upper foyer in James-Simon-Galerie, entering by using the big stairway.
Advice for group visits to the Pergamonmuseum an the Neues Museum (PDF)
Due to a technical issue, the lift is out of service until further notice, meaning the Museum für Islamische Kunst is not currently wheelchair accessible. The major architectural exhibits – such as the Processional Way, featuring the Ishtar Gate and the Market Gate of Miletus – are still accessible to people with mobility issues.
U-Bahn: Museumsinsel (U5)
S-Bahn: Friedrichstraße, Hackescher Markt
Tram: Am Kupfergraben, Hackescher Markt
Bus: Staatsoper, Lustgarten, Friedrichstraße
Low-carbon public transport connections
Opening times on public holidays Opening Hours
Prices / Tickets
10,00 EUR Concessions 5,00
Museum Island + Panorama
19,00 EUR Concessions 9,50
Annual ticket Classic Plus
100,00 EUR Concessions 50,00
Classic Plus: all exhibitions
Museum Pass Berlin 3 days for permanent exhibitions
29,00 EUR Concessions 14,50
3 days for permanent exhibitions
Annual membership Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
from just 25,00 EUR
Annual Passes for the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin