About the collections

The Pergamonmuseum is home to three of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s most impressive collections: the Antikensammlung, the Vorderasiatisches Museum, and the Museum für Islamische Kunst.

Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities)

The Antikensammlung is one of the world’s most important collections of Greek and Roman art. The collection is presented in three separate buildings on the Museumsinsel Berlin: in the Pergamonmuseum, the Altes Museum, and the Neues Museum. The exhibition in the Pergamonmuseum features full-scale reconstructions of architectural monuments from Greek and Roman antiquity.

The main attraction is undoubtedly the Pergamon Altar (180–160 BC). Its relief frieze is a masterpiece of Hellenistic art. It depicts the Olympian gods in battle with the Giants. A shining example of Roman architecture, by contrast, is the Market Gate of Miletus dating from around 100 AD.

Since 2013, the Pergamonmuseum has been undergoing staggered renovations as part of the Masterplan Museumsinsel. The renovations are based on plans by the architecture firm of O.M. Ungers. The hall that contains the Pergamon Altar will be closed until at least 2025. The north wing and the hall of Hellenistic architecture will also be closed. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Since November 2018 visitors may also attend ‘Pergamonmuseum: The Panorama’, a temporary exhibition pavilion built by the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz. The building, which offers an attractive alternative to the Pergamonmuseum during its renovation, is located on the street Am Kupfergraben, which is directly across from Museumsinsel.

Vorderasiatisches Museum (Museum of the Ancient Near East)

The Vorderasiatisches Museum primarily collects artefacts from a 6000-year timespan of cultural history from the regions Mesopotamia, Syria, and Anatolia. The approximately 270,000 objects in its overwhelming collection were mainly found during the major German excavations in Babylon, Assur, Uruk, and Sam’al.

Its principal attractions include the massive architectural reconstructions of the colourful Ishtar Gate and Processional Way of Babylon, dating from the time of Nebuchadnezzar II (6th century BC). Much smaller but no less significant are the earliest written documents known to humankind: cuneiform scripts on clay tablets dating from the late 4th millennium BC. They originate from the city of Uruk, as do the impressive temple façades decorated with thousands of colourful mosaic pieces. Since the opening of the new entrance building, the museum display begins with the large basalt sculptures from Tell Halaf.

While construction work is underway in the north wing, the Vorderasiatisches Museum located in the south wing is completely open to the public. The side wings featuring smaller objects from Assur, Babylon and Uruk are also accessible.

Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum for Islamic Art)

The Museum für Islamische Kunst boasts one of the most outstanding collections of Islamic art outside the Islamic world. It brings together masterpieces of the decorative arts and archaeological artefacts created by Muslim peoples and the Christian and Jewish groups living with and among them, dating from the 7th to the 19th century.

Particularly impressive highlights in the collection are the architectural works, some preserved in their entirety, which, in terms of their monumentality of scale, are without parallel in any other museum of its kind, first and foremost the intricately decorated stone façade of the caliph’s palace of Mshatta (Jordan, ca. 740) and the famous Aleppo Room with its brightly painted wood panelling (Syria, 1600).

The south wing of the Pergamonmuseum – which features the Ishtar Gate, the Processional Way, the Museum für Islamische Kunst, and the Market Gate of Miletus – will remain open to the public.

Restoration of the Mshatta Façade

The Mshatta Room will be closed to visitors from 21 February 2022. The Façade of the Caliph’s Palace of Mshatta, the centrepiece and audience highlight of the Museum für Islamische Kunst, will be restored as part of ongoing renovation work at the Pergamonmuseum. The restoration will be carried out at a publicly viewable construction site in the future.